Nintendo has a long history now of sending cease and desist notices to shut down various projects, including tournaments that are hosting events for their own games. One of the most notable times this happened was for The Big House Online which used a mod called Slippi to allow players to safely compete in Super Smash Bros. Melee at a distance during the COVID-19 pandemic.
It seems the company is back up to similar antics, this time in regards to one of the most popular Brawl mods currently in existence. Riptide, a tournament event set to host brackets for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Melee, Rivals of Aether, and Splatoon 2, have announced today that they will have to remove the Project+ tournament from their event after a “conversation” with Nintendo.
“Riptide was contacted recently by a Nintendo of America, Inc. representative regarding our Project+ events. As a result of that conversation, there will be no Project+ tournaments or setups at Riptide. We understand the impact of this news for the Project+ community. We will be contacting all attendees registered for Project+ events with further information and the updated refund request procedure shortly.”
Outraged fans have already taken to Reddit and Twitter to share their disgust with Nintendo. Some have even pointed out how this has happened two weeks before the event, after the original time allowed to transfer registration at the event, and long after flights and hotel rooms have been booked which likely will result in competitors being unable to get a refund, making it a particularly cruel move by Nintendo.
This isn’t the first time Nintendo has had issues with Brawl mods appearing at events but is particularly odd as Nintendo is in no way affiliated with Riptide. Last year, an anonymous user wrote a TwitLonger about how Nintendo has previously hurt the Smash community with former SmashBoards writer SmashCapps also documenting the story of why the original Project M was removed from Apex 2015 releasing full details in a TwitLonger of her own.
Despite this news starting the #FreeSmash and #FreeMelee movements which were supported by tournament organizers and Nintendo fans across a variety of series, it did little to stop the company from using its massive legal department to shut down small events and projects. Currently, Nintendo is even hiring for a Senior IP Enforcement Specialist which will likely mean even more crackdowns in the future.
One thing is for sure: fans won’t be forgiving Nintendo any time soon for this latest decision.