Cooking Mama: Cookstar Drama Heats Up with Potential Lawsuit Between Creator and Publisher
A dispute between Office Create and Planet Entertainment has boiled over with potential legal action over Cooking Mama: Cookstar.
Cooking Mama is the type of game that one wouldn’t expect to draw controversy, but in the past several weeks the cooking sim franchise’s latest release, Cooking Mama: Cookstar, stirred up problems with its release on Nintendo Switch. Specifically, conflicts between the game’s publisher Planet Entertainment and Cooking Mama IP holder Office Create have escalated, with both companies attempting to dispute claims around the game’s release.
Originally, Cookstar was released last month on Nintendo Switch, but was promptly removed from sale on the Switch eShop and from retailers because the game “failed to meet the standards” of the series’ original developer, Office Create. The game was licensed to developer 1st Playable Productions and publisher Planet Entertainment in 2018, and while the game was “unauthorized” to release in its current form by Office Create, Planet Entertainment continued ahead to release the game. The company also allegedly was planning to move forward with a release on PS4 in European territories, which was also deemed unauthorized and unlicensed by Office Create.
Earlier this week, a statement from Office Create (via the official Cooking Mama Twitter account) attempted to clarify the situation of the game’s release. According to Office Create, the company provided “a wide range of deficiencies affecting the overall feel, quality and content of the game,” which in turn it provided to Planet Entertainment to correct and fix.
However, Office Create says that Planet instead breached its contractual obligations by releasing Cookstar “without addressing all of the rejections and without Office Create’s approval.” As a result, Office Create stated that it is “is evaluating all legal action against Planet to protect our customers, intellectual property rights and the Cooking Mama series.”
Important Notice re. Cooking Mama: Cookstarhttps://t.co/A6UZelL7kw
— CookingMama (@cookingmama_Eng) April 15, 2020
In response, publisher Planet Entertainment provided their own statement that appears to push back against the claims by Office Create on the Twitter account for Cooking Mama: Cookstar. Specifically, Planet Entertainment alleges that Cookstar‘s design was approved last year and that the publisher and developer 1st Playable “followed the exact approved design” on its original Nintendo Switch release, including suggestions from Office Create that were incorporated.
However, according to Planet, creative differences arose between the publisher and Office Create that were “outside the scope” of the companies’ agreement. In response, Planet stated that the company is fully within its rights to release Cooking Mama: Cookstar and that there is “no active ruling or litigation” to prevent them from doing so.
— Cooking Mama: Cookstar (@CookstarMama) April 15, 2020
With Office Create seemingly planning to pursue legal action over the release of Cooking Mama: Cookstar, it remains to be seen just what will happen with the game itself, whether it will continue to be shelved from release or if it could reappear on storefronts once these legal disputes are resolved. However, at the moment things seem to be heating up between the series’ IP holder and Cookstar‘s publisher, so stay tuned for now.