Could Cooking Mama Fry your Nintendo Switch for Bitcoin?
Just several days after its official release, the game Cooking Mama Cookstar was removed from Nintendo's e-store. This was the 14th release in the cooking game series and the first for the Nintendo Switch. So far, no official reason was given for its removal, but some users on Reddit & elsewhere have their suspicions.
Cooking Mama or Crypto Mama?
In a now-removed post on Reddit's r/NintendoSwitch users began to complain of strange phenomenon occurring while playing Cooking Mama. This includes Switchs overheating, batteries draining much faster than usual and other issues. Many redditors began to think that these issues were caused by cryptocurrency mining.
The post received a multitude of responses from users until the post was removed. Several different posts have since replaced it, and the rumor has also reached Twitter. The issue later reached gaming and tech publications.
Genuinely cannot believe they Cooking Mama stuff💀!— FADEL - Master Of Hype (@GamesCageX) April 5, 2020
The fact that the game purely existed for a few days for this purpose is nuts LOL. WTF pic.twitter.com/AF79uOiLyj
Later the developer clarified on Twitter that Cooking Mama Cookstar has no relation to cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin or "anything shady".
Despite that fans have dug up an old press release for the game that was released in 2019. In the now-deleted press release, which can be seen here, Cooking Mama Cookstar was supposed to have several blockchain-related functionalities. This includes blockchain-based DRM (digital rights management) and crypto collectibles.
As the developers we can say with certainty there is no cryptocurrency or data collection or blockchain or anything else shady in the code. The Nintendo Switch is a very safe platform, with none of the data and privacy issues associated with some mobile and PC games.— 1st Playable (@1stPlayable) April 5, 2020
Those are all rumors. The game is fine. We’ve playing it for months, the team just got our retail copies and they work as expected. There’s no technical issues with the game, and although we’re not directly involved with the eshop issue we are hoping it will get sorted out soon.— 1st Playable (@1stPlayable) April 5, 2020
At the moment, it seems doubtful that Cooking Mama's developer would implant cryptocurrency mining software into a game aimed mostly at children. While this has occurred with piracy-related websites in the past, it is less likely that a family-friendly game developer would implement the same measures.
While we cannot be certain, the source of the rumor seems to be a combination of bugs in the games code in addition to the 2019 press release.
One way to be certain is to data-mine the games original files. Seeing the popularity of the topic, it seems to be a matter of time until that occurs.
Perhaps the developer is right and we'll see it back in the Nintendo e-store soon.
Written by Jonathan Ganor
Writer & cryptocurrency aficionado