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Cookie Run for Kakao goes missing from US App Store.

Thursday, March 20th, 2014 by
The dreaded Cookie Run update screen that leads to no update for US iTunes users.

This Cookie Run update screen leads to no update for US iTunes users.

This, ladies and gentlemen, may be a bit of a cautionary tale. Last week, Cookie Run (쿠키런) for Kakao mysteriously disappeared from the US App Store. As a free-to-play game with in-app purchases, of which my daughter and I have made in the past, the lack of information is concerning. The game is rendered completely unplayable for anyone using the “for Kakao” network on a US iTunes account.

Update: It’s been confirmed as removed from the Canadian and United Kingdom App Store, as well.

In its place is LINE Cookie Run. There’s a good chance that Devsisters, the Cookie Run developer licensed the game out for use in the United States. That’s all fine and dandy for those in the new market, but it also leaves users such as myself on the outside looking in.

While it’s safe to assume this affects a very small percentage of the estimated 120,000 United States citizens living in South Korea, I know of a handful of people that are pissed right now with no way to vent. I’m sure those people know others, what with this being a social game and all. I’m here to give a voice for the voiceless. Cookie Run for Kakao is one of my daily games. I’ve been playing it on and off for about two years, now, and have written about it a couple of times. It’s immensely popular with children and adults alike in South Korea.

Cookie Run went largely ignored in the United States and other Western countries under its Oven Break 2 moniker. It was removed from the App Store back in December 2013, but it received a final update that didn’t complete break the game via its removal.

If you can’t update Cookie Run for Kakao for the same reason, we’d love to hear about it in the comments.

I’ve reached out to Devsisters, the Korean developer behind Cookie Run, hoping for answers. If that doesn’t work, I’ve got nothing better to do this weekend than hit up their Gangnam office demanding some answers.

Update 2: I’ve tried contacting Devsisters via Twitter, Facebook, their app support channel, and via phone. It’s worth noting that passive aggression (and blatantly ignoring people) is actually culturally acceptable here in South Korea. This week, I’m enlisting the help of a Korean-speaking co-worker for a little help in this matter. Hopefully, we can get a response.

Update 3: As Maggie mentioned in the comment section, you can delete and re-install through the App Store to get the latest update as a workaround.

To do this, delete the app. Then, in the App Store, go to the Updates tab. At the top, click “Purchased >” and scroll through until you find Cookie Run for Kakao. It should have the iCloud icon next to it.

Be advised, this will only work until the next required update, at which time you’ll need to go through this process again.

About the Author

Fade to Slack is a founding member of Delta Attack, an American expatriate in South Korea, and a true believer in the legitimacy of mobile gaming. Keep up with him on Twitter at https://twitter.com/Fade2Slack so he can justify having a Twitter account.

Fade to Slack has written 352 posts on Delta Attack
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  • RapDol96

    I’m soo fckn pissed right now. I’m using the UK appstore and it won’t appear either and like I am not starting again on Line after the hardwork I’ve been through earning coins and stuff. It’s just soo fckn stupid and unfair. THIS SHOULD BE ILLEGAL LETS STRIKE >A<!!!***

    • Linneke

      I really think the same about it, I bought many iTunes cards for upgrading everything… And now it’s all gone… I’m playing Cookie Run for Line sometimes, but I’m too pissed about it to buy any more of them, all the new characters aren’t there and it’s just all from the beginning again I hate it

      • RapDol96

        Linneke omg hi, ur one of my cookie run friends ㅠㅠ I am soo mad right now

        • Linneke

          ^^” I definitely know how you feel, I’m fine with Line having Cookie Run now, only if they all kept it the same, all the updates, characters, power ups and all and if you could keep all what you bought… But just starting from scratch is just ridiculous Dx

          • Sawamura

            Well, you wanted to support Korean Copycats. There you go. Koreans are the most arrogant of all Asia. You help them get recognition, they get cocky.

            It’s funny the way you say that being arrogant “is accepted and it’s ok.” Just because of a game you are willing to open it up for those arrogant Colombians of Asia (because there is not one who hasn’t gone through surgery)

            • losinghopeinpeople

              what the actual heck?? like, yes, you have a right to be angry at devsister but labeling korea itself as arrogant isn’t justified. Asia has different traditions, and sure they aren’t that great some times, but this is a right to the company to respond or not- it’s just ridiculous to dump the whole country as copy cats (this was devsister’s own work frankly) and other stupid comments.. I’m angry about this too but your comment is just dumb.

      • http://www.deltaattack.com/ Fade to Slack

        It’s sickening that Devsisters can do that to people without any ramifications. Moreover, I think this isn’t an isolated incident, as Wind Runner broke for me in the past.

        I’d like to get the kibosh put on business practices like this. It’s an absolute disregard for paying customers that allowed them to get to this point.

    • http://www.deltaattack.com/ Fade to Slack

      The thing I’m pissed about is that it’s fallen on deaf ears. It’s culturally acceptable to just be passive aggressive, and that’s it. I’ve tried calling their offices, contacting through their support channels, reaching out to them on Twitter.

      I’m at wit’s end, really. I sent a message to TouchArcade hoping their larger audience could press the issue, but they don’t work weekends. If it doesn’t work, perhaps Kotaku or Polygon will be willing to help.

  • Maggie

    Oh god so in not alone! I decided to delete and re download the game and that worked!. But ANOTHER update came out today it seems and I’m having trouble again… Let’s hope the game works tomorrow like it did last time / this really sucks

    • http://www.deltaattack.com/ Fade to Slack

      Out of curiosity, how did you re-download the game? Did it allow you to download the latest version off the cloud regardless of it being in the store?

      • Maggie

        Hello sorry for the late reply. And for the update in early march I deleted it and if you have an iPhone you can go to App Store -> tap updates -> purchased -> not on this phone (to search quicker). I was allowed to download the latest version in early march but for the update that came out this week it is not working anymore :( . I really hope you and your friend make a change!

        • http://www.deltaattack.com/ Fade to Slack

          I’ve encountered a loop here. Two phone numbers are never answered. One gives you a number to Google support. I’m just culling off the internet, too.

          I tweeted their Co-Founder with a link here. Hopefully he won’t just ignore it.

  • Gina

    Me too I rated the line cookie run a 1/5 and told them I hate them and to give it back to kakao. I’m in canada and I’ve been playing this game with my brother forever and have made purchases too.

    I support you

    • http://www.deltaattack.com/ Fade to Slack

      Thank you, Gina. I appreciate this and hate that you and your brother can’t play a game that you have paid for because of shady business practices.

      If you know anyone else affected, please have them leave a comment here. If we get enough people, maybe we can actually find a solution together or make some waves.

      • Gina

        I would like to call and leave msgs too! can you give me their contact info??

    • Maggie

      I left a reply too on LINE Cookie Run haha. It’s just so disheartening… Maybe is it possible to go to the Korean App Store market and download there?? Who knows… We’re all rooting for you Fade!

      • RapDol96

        i already tried changing to korean appstore but you need a province and postcode. And the update will randomly appear, when i do click it, it tells me to change to UK appstore when i already am…then it disapears!!!! ITS MESSING WITH ME

  • Maggie

    Everyone! Today the app finally updated! Before it was version 4.10 but now it’s 4.20 so just delete the app and download it again :)

    • http://www.deltaattack.com/ Fade to Slack

      Thanks, Maggie. I’ll update the post to reflect that, but it looks like we’ll always be behind the eight-ball.

      Also, if you haven’t already gotten it, make sure you get your event coupon code in:

      COOK 2RUN 1STA NNIV

      That’s 100 Crystals. Shame I missed out on all the other ones before.

      • Tokki

        How do we put in the coupon code?

        • http://www.deltaattack.com/ Fade to Slack

          Click on the gear. Scroll down a bit, and you’ll see a button that says “이밴트 꼬드” (or something close to that… event code in Korean).

          Sorry for the late reply. Today’s the last day for the code, I believe, so I hope you don’t miss out because of my tardiness.

  • Brian

    I’ve been having the same issue here. The same problem persisted for another popular Korean game (i.e. Windrunner) using KakaoTalk about a year ago. I think the issue was that some strange clause in the Apple’s iTunes policy led to the deletion of the game from all the stores other than the Korean iTunes store. At least that was the explanation given to me by the developer of Windrunner. Interesting, when I checked on the status of Windrunner after about a year of hiatus because I could not update Cookie Run, the KakaoTalk version of Windrunner was returned to the US iTunes store. I have no idea how long it had been back in the US store, but it took long enough for me to give up the game for a year. I’m hoping the same would not happen to CookieRun. My daughter’s been asking me almost daily about playing CookieRun. It’s frustrating to see the same issue is happening with CookieRun. I invested a lot of time and energy into CookieRun via KakaoTalk and have no desire to start over with the Line version.

    • http://www.deltaattack.com/ Fade to Slack

      The only real solution, it seems, is to get an Android setup and link it to Kakao. That’s far from ideal, though, and highly unacceptable.

      This is a licensing issue. It still leaves people in the dark, and that’s unacceptable.

  • Asiantle

    So I deleted and reinstalled like suggested, but unfortunately doing so did not fix the problem for me. On a side note, the game is no longer available in the U.S. Google Play store, either.

  • Emma Marie Moss

    I’ve got quite a bit on my kakao game and don’t want to lose it! So what do we do. I’ve got the line one but can’t be bothered to do it all again.

  • RapDol96

    I got Cookie Run Kakao back like a week ago. I finally got a postcode from a kakao friend to change the appstore to korea. :D So happy