There's technically a new Cooking Mama game out now for the Switch, but chances are good that you can't get it. With the COVID-19 pandemic leading to retail closures and shipping delays, it would be difficult to obtain a physical copy of Cooking Mama: Cookstar if they were readily available. They aren't, though, and as for an eShop release, the game's publisher alludes to world events factoring into its strange absence from Nintendo's online store.
Last week, Cooking Mama: Cookstar—published by Planet Entertainment and developed by 1st Playable—was listed on the U.S. eShop for a few hours before being taken down without explanation. As IGN reports, physical copies can be found in online retail listings for the United States and the U.K., but it also seems that Amazon only lists third-party sellers.
On the Twitter profile created for Cooking Mama: Cookstar, Planet Entertainment released the following statement regarding Cookstar's absence from the eShop:
We know that Cookstar fans are anxiously awaiting for the game to appear in the eShop. As everybody is aware, the whole world is upside down with delays right now. At Planet Entertainment, we are as anxious as you for the digital download to be available!— Cooking Mama: Cookstar (@CookstarMama) April 6, 2020
USgamer has reached out to Nintendo for comment and to Planet Entertainment for clarification as to whether or not Cookstar's delay specifically stems from issues caused by the pandemic. Neither company responded prior to publication.
Over the weekend, 1st Playable denied rumors that Cookstar was secretly mining cryptocurrency. As our sister site GamesIndustry.Biz reports, an older press release about the title (originally called Cooking Mama: Coming Home to Mama) originally mentioned that it would incorporate blockchain tech of the kind that serves as the foundation for cryptocurrencies. "Blockchain was never brought up to us developers, and we were entertained to hear about in late 2019," writes 1st Playable. "Not happening anytime soon."
Planet Entertainment also denies that Cookstar deploys blockchain tech:
We looked at these options as a means to allow players to trade in-game assets. However, we only explored the theory behind the concept, not the implementation. Cooking Mama: Cookstar, nor any of our other titles in the past or near future will utilize crypto technology.
Distributors Koch Media responded to GamesIndustry.Biz's request for comment but did not offer additional clarification. Series creators Cooking Mama Limited, formerly Office Create, do not appear to be closely involved with the development or release of Cookstar.