Cooking Mama is connecting to the blockchain. That's not exactly a phrase that many would have ever expected to hear, but nevertheless it's true. Publisher Planet Digital Partners plans to integrate blockchain technology into Cooking Mama: Coming Home to Mama for the Nintendo Switch. The self-described reboot of the cooking game franchise is scheduled to launch fall 2019 and claims to be the first major console title to connect to the blockchain this way.
As for what "integrating blockchain technology" into Cooking Mama means, Planet Digital provided a list of planned features. The core idea is that every copy of Cooking Mama: Coming Home to Mama will have an associated unique ID. This ID will be "managed directly through the game's internal wallet storage." Through these keys, Planet Digital says Cooking Mama: Coming Home to Mama will provide "balanced DRM" that still allows for post-market sale both digitally and through retail.
The blockchain will directly manipulate gameplay in Cooking Mama: Coming Home to Mama, too. Each copy's unique private-key will, optionally, allow the game to "change expression algorithms for characters, ingredients, and cooking methods." This multiplayer feature will, in other words, be able to make every player's experience "subtly different" than everyone else's.
Planet Digital also claims that it will use the blockchain to "Secure Online Events" by tracking hashes of the running game in order to evaluate whether it has been altered. This layer of security will also be used to reward players with in-game currency. It's noted that this currency could even be given by the game, traded with other players, or even distributed by third parties via promotions.
When people think of blockchains, they also think of cryptocurrency. Yet cryptocurrency isn't explicitly mentioned in this article. But it's certainly possible that Cooking Mama's gameplay could be mined for cryptocurrency when playing online. The press release's description of an ID management system via internal wallet storage wasn't accidental. It's hard to imagine there not being something more to this decision than meets the eye.
Cooking Mama: Coming Home to Mama releases on Nintendo Switch in fall 2019.