You're not logged in | Login / Register | News Filter | Submit News

Major Super Smash Bros. Melee event canceled following cease and desist order from Nintendo

Posted by John 'Velociraptor' Guerrero • November 19, 2020 at 3:59 p.m. PST • Comments: 63

The Big House, the longest running annual Super Smash Bros. event around, will not be taking place this year. While COVID-19 essentially forced the event to go virtual, online competition for both Super Smash Bros. Melee and Ultimate was still slated for December 4-6 until Nintendo decided to step in with a cease and desist order.

The news broke publicly early this afternoon when TBH's Twitter shared the following statement revealing that the gaming giant had put effectively closed The Big House's doors.

The decision to keep TBH's streak alive (they've been running annually since 2011) was made just nine days ago on November 10 with an announcement that the event would be held virtually. According to a statement Nintendo offered to Polygon, the company took particular issue with the use of Slippi Online, a fan-made rollback netcode mod created in 2020 for the 2001 title.

Slippi has been seemingly wholeheartedly received by the Melee community as a viable means of playing the GameCube game over the internet. Not only does the program provide a means of online competition, it also features matchmaking capabilities so that players can more rapidly find one another.

"Unfortunately, the upcoming Big House tournament announced plans to host an online tournament for Super Smash Bros. Melee that requires use of illegally copied versions of the game in conjunction with a mod called 'Slippi' during their online event," reads part of Nintendo's statement. "Nintendo therefore contacted the tournament organizers to ask them to stop. They refused, leaving Nintendo no choice but to step in to protect its intellectual property and brands."

This isn't the first time Nintendo has shown resistance to the competitive Super Smash Bros. scene. One of the most notable talking points surrounding EVO 2013 was twofold in that Melee fans raised over $94,000 for breast cancer research to earn their game a spot on the event's lineup, and then almost were unable to actually proceed once Nintendo decided they weren't so keen on the idea.

According to statements from former EVO organizer Joey "Mr. Wizard" Cuellar, Nintendo initially didn't want Melee on the lineup at all, then decided the game could be played but not live streamed, and eventually allowed both to take place.

Just last month, the makers behind Mario went after a fan who had created their own Zelda game using Ocarina of Time's engine. Nintendo noted that the endeavor did not see it as fair use of their copyright-protected work.

Smash Summit, another online Smash Bros. event that is slated to use Slippi and kick off today, seems not to have gotten a cease and desist from Nintendo. The Big House's statement from today mentions refunds, which might be a key piece of the puzzle in terms of identifying why these two events seem to be getting different treatment.

If TBH was charging entry fees for their event, this could have been the deal breaking detail for Nintendo. Summit, by contrast, is an invitational.

Load comments (63)