Cooking Mama: Cookstar was pulled from the Nintendo eShop just hours after it first came out, and it didn’t take very long for rumors that the game was actually operating a cryptocurrency mine without players’ knowledge began to come up.
Believe it or not, this was something fans had been worried about ever since developers announced Cooking Mama: Coming Home to Mama would use blockchain digital rights management (DRM).
The game’s publisher, Planet Digital Partners, said they included this to give every payer a “subtly different” experience while playing, but some claim that’s not all it was doing.
It’s important to note that there’s been no definitive proof that Cooking Mama is actually operating as a crypto mine, but that doesn’t mean it’s not possible.
After being released to the eShop for a few hours on April 1, the title was mysteriously pulled with no word from Nintendo or the publisher as to why.
On April 5, unconfirmed reports of Cooking Mama using the Nintendo Switch to farm virtual currency started popping up on Twitter, with users urging anyone with the game to uninstall it immediately.
PSA FOR COOKING MAMA COOKSTAR pic.twitter.com/2IulAqq5Gp
— Jimbo (@MorshuMmm) April 5, 2020
In the screenshot from an unknown Discord server, one user claimed that the game wouldn’t launch unless your Switch was online and connected to the internet.
When you do play it, the network traffic on your Switch supposedly skyrockets, the battery is drained, and the console overheats in about half an hour.
It certainly would be a bizarre turn for Cooking Mama, which had received relatively positive reviews up until now, to be insidiously operating a hidden cryptocurrency mining program, but with how prevalent online and digital currencies have become it’s not entirely out of the realm of possibility.
At the moment, neither Nintendo, the publishers, or anyone else involved has come out to confirm or deny that Cooking Mama was out hijacking Switches to mine some crypto.
However, the title’s past use of the blockchain, its sudden, unexplained removal from the eShop, and now reports from players all leave us with more questions than answers.