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Redditors Discover Cooking Mama: Cookstar Could Be A Cryptocurrency Mining Operation

As it turns out, the elusive (and pulled) Cooking Mama: Cookstar might be a bit more than some gamers bargained for.

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The Gamer- This isn’t a twist we expected for Cooking Mama: Cookstar – let alone any video game this year.

As it turns out, the elusive (and pulled) Cooking Mama: Cookstar might be a bit more than some gamers bargained for. In fact, the only potential “bargain” here might be for Planet Entertainment, as players report dead batteries and overheating Switch units from the latest Mama title.

This is due to the fact that Cookstar may very well be an illicit cryptocurrency mining operation.

This would corroborate what I reported on yesterday, if true. Cooking Mama: Cookstar isn’t mentioned on any of the official Cooking Mama social media channels. If this is actually the case, then what Planet Entertainment has done here is an illegal use of the license. Whether this is a case of that or of the Cooking Mama brand being so devalued that they got it for dirt cheap, we’re not sure yet – but will update the story as we find out more.

As far as the claims of blockchain-based DRM go, there are actual press releases out there with this exact language. Noted games writer Joel Couture pointed me to a series of screengrabs in which Planet Entertainment actually advertised the game with blockchain functionality fairly early on. These are screengrabs froma Wayback Archive of a press release announcing the game. The page has since been pulled.

However, this might have been done without the knowledge of the games developer. I can independently confirm from my own research that 1st Playable, a New York-based edutainment developer, is likely the maker of the game. As stated yesterday, 1st Playable was originally listed as the game’s developer in an Australian ratings board classification, but was since scrubbed from any future marketing materials.

1st Playable has no mention of the game on their site. However, a 1st Playable engineer was quick to publicly defend the game on Twitter. Please note that to discourage harassment of an individual developer, who may or may not have known about this, TheGamer has redacted their name.

Meanwhile, users on Reddit have reported that 1st Playable is listed on the actual game box as the developer. Office Create is listed as the original owner of Cooking Mama, but that’s curious, as Office Create changed their name to Cooking Mama Ltd. in May of 2009. The developer’s official site, as well as their official Twitter account, has no mention of the game.

Compounding this are reports that the game’s DRM has been cracked and the files rooted through. According to one user, “if you’re connected to a network while playing, the battery life craters, the network traffic skyrockets, and it overheats after about 30 minutes. If you try to play it with WiFi off and no crack, it refuses to launch. So it looks like the blockchain integration is a miner.” This comes off a report from 4Chan. However, some users are quick to point out this might be a joke, as others have played the game and not reported similar issues.

However, we can likely debunk one rumor surrounding the Koch Brothers. Koch Media is the Australian distributor of Cookstar. Koch acts as the distributing arm for some games in other countries. Koch Media is named after founder Franz Koch, who is unrelated to the notorious Koch Brothers. Koch Media has published games such as Saints Row IV and the Metro franchise.

As of this writing, we’re still left with several questions about Cooking Mama: Cookstar. Did developer 1st Playable know what they were getting into? Did Planet Entertainment actually have the license to make this game? And why has every party involved with this game scrubbed any mention of its existence from their official social media channels?

We were able to independently obtain a copy of the game, so we will report back soon with more info on our end. Stay tuned for more updates to this unprecedented and truly bizarre story.

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