Prepare for confusion, as a lapsed video game license and a bad iteration of a beloved(?) culinary video game franchise may lead to lawsuits. Let’s start at the beginning to try and untangle this story of how an unauthorized Cooking Mama game and a PlayStation 4 listing is all leading to the creator of the franchise potentially suing the studio it hired to make the game in the first place. This starts back in August of 2019 when a listing for a new Cooking Mama game hit the net, showing a release for Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 4.
The release for the later named Cooking Mama: Cookstars was to have new features as indicated in the press release: “Cooking Mama offers something for every taste. No carnivore? No problem! For the first time, Cooking Mama offers both traditional and vegetarian recipes: Burritos, Bibimbap, Bubble Tea, Baked Alaska, Poke Bowls and much more.” The plans included a vegetarian mode, multiplayer, the ability to share creations to Twitter and Facebook. A release date would come later, but it seemed as though this new iteration published by Planet Entertainment, mainly known for the kind of games that come out for Nintendo consoles that nobody ever purchases.
The April release date came and as quickly as it did, saw the game vanish from the Nintendo eShop as well as from major retailers such as Amazon and Target. This is all further complicated by the fact that a developer for the game cannot be found anywhere and Planet Entertainment’s involvement is all but stripped from any material on or about Cooking Mama–even the box is mostly devoid of any markings.
Now Japanese creator Office Create is speaking up on the matter and evaluating legal action against Planet Entertainment thanks in part to what Office Create is calling a lapse in copyright. The full statement pulled from the Office Create website is below (in a further twist to the story, as of this writing the website that hosted the notice was down, but still available thanks to Wayback Machine):
This story goes incredibly deep for something that seems like a potentially bad game getting pulled due to quality issues. Screen Rant even has a serious of anonymous interviews alluding to Office Create using its pull within Nintendo to get the game delisted from the eShop, nevermind what has happened to this mysterious, yet absent PlayStation 4 edition. Office Create said “Office Create has not licensed Planet (or any other entity) to create any Cooking Mama games for PS4. Office Create itself has not been involved in the development of any PS4™ Cooking Mama game.”
Well, okay. If you need to know whether this game exists or not maybe consider calling a physicist.