Colorful Japanese cooking franchise Cooking Mama had planned to release a brand new game, entitled Cooking Mama: Cookstar, in late March 2020. Listings for the game had appeared on multiple regions' versions of the Nintendo Switch eShop, including the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia.
Then, just as quickly as it had appeared, Cooking Mama: Cookstar mysteriously disappeared.
Currently, the title is unavailable on any version of the Nintendo Switch eShop. Retailers selling physical copies, including GameStop, continue to list the game on their Web site but classify it as "currently unavailable for purchase". Even a search on the official Nintendo Web site turns up nothing, with only the previous entries in the Cooking Mama franchise appearing.
In other regions, the situation is similarly mysterious. Europe-based retailers such as GAME are listing multiple conflicting release dates throughout March and April for Cookstar, and physical copies are again listed as "unavailable for purchase". Some fans in Australia claim to have successfully purchased copies of the game before it disappeared, but little has been posted online regarding this.
Further confusing the issue, the official Web site for the game, www.cookingmamacookstar.com, is still alive and functional. It includes trailers and information about the game, although an official release date is not listed.
Speculation regarding the reason for the game being pulled is currently running rampant on the Internet. Theories include an issue with either the publisher or the developer or conflict regarding the game's rating.
Cookstar was planned to release for both the PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch. It was to be the first game in the series to be released in HD, and also the first to feature a brand new "Vegetarian Mode" where meat dishes would not be cooked.
Fans have reached out to both Nintendo of America's Twitter account and the game's official Twitter for comment on the situation. So far, neither has responded.