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Modded Super Smash Bros. tournament canceled after Nintendo reportedly contacted event organizers

Posted by Dakota 'DarkHorse' Hills • August 27, 2021 at 6 p.m. PDT • Comments: 25

Fans of Nintendo's games are among the most dedicated in the world with their creation of unofficial projects tied to iconic series like Mario, The Legend of Zelda and Metroid, but the company itself has earned a bit of a reputation over the years for being quite protective of their intellectual property.

Super Smash Bros. major Riptide announced today they will be removing Project+ tournaments from their lineup after reportedly being contacted by Nintendo of America regarding the famous Smash mod.

"Riptide was contacted recently by a Nintendo of America, Inc. representative regarding our Project+ events," wrote the organizers of Riptide on Twitter. "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."

Nintendo themselves have not made an official statement about Project+'s removal from the tournament lineup although it's fairly commonplace for the developer and publisher to remain quiet in these types of situations.

Project+ is a modded version of Super Smash Bros. Brawl, which released back in 2008, as a way to continue the work of Project M, another popular Brawl mod that was allegedly pressured to stop development by Nintendo.

One thing the Smash Bros. community is not, however, is quiet, so Nintendo and hashtags like #SaveSmash and #FreePM began quickly trending across Twitter with the company's recent social media posts being filled with comments about Smash and Project+.

This latest development in the community comes less than one year after a different Smash major was forced to shutter an online Super Smash Bros. Melee tournament that was going to use a fan-made mod to make it possible.

The Big House released a statement in November of 2020 that they received a cease and desist from Nintendo of America to inform them they did not have permission to host or broadcast the event primarily due to the usage of Slippi, a mod for Melee that implements online matchmaking with rollback netcode.

Fans took special umbrage to this cancellation due to offline tournaments not being feasible at the time because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Following the issues with The Big House, a flood of teams with names supporting the Melee community appeared in an official Splatoon 2 tournament, and Nintendo also reportedly pulled the plug on them completely and silently too.

That led to the Splatoon community hosting their own event in its stead, which became a massive success by raising over $19,000 for its prize pool from viewer donations — including some big sums being chipped in by top Smash competitors to show their solidarity and support.

The most likely reason Riptide was targeted in the Project+ removal is due to the event charging registration fees for the prize pool, and Nintendo along with many other publishers tend not to like people making money using mods or unofficial games.

There are still a number of other Smash majors and offline events that are planning to host Project+ brackets this year, so they too may be receiving letters or phone calls from Nintendo about those plans as well.

Riptide is moving forward with the rest of their events in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Melee, Splatoon and Rivals of Aether where they've reached over 2,700 registered players and attendees.

It will be taking place September 10–12 in Sandusky, Ohio.

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