On November 19, The Big House announced that their online Super Smash Bros events were to be canceled following a cease and desist order from Nintendo. A month later, the backlash from fans is still going as even in its Indie World presentation, the chat was flooded with #FreeMelee comments.
For context, The Big House is the longest-running Smash tournament in the US and, due to COVID-19, they had to move their events online this year. This meant that they had to use Slippi, a software that makes Super Smash Bros. Melee playable online.
However, Nintendo stood by their decision as moving online meant that players would have to use illegally sourced copies alongside the mod in order to participate. Not only has the Melee tournament been canceled due to this but so has their Ultimate tournament.
However, amidst the onslaught of spamming #FreeMelee in the live stream’s chat, one user said, “This is a showcase for indie games, please be respectful. Don’t bring any of the issues from the last few months to this stream. Give respect for the developers.”
Nintendo will likely face backlash throughout the month due to this decision as the event was set to take place in early December. Both #SaveSmash and #FreeMelee were trending in an attempt to get Nintendo to backtrack on their cease and desist but they stated that they have partnered with many tournaments whilst Big House, despite going online, remained independent.
It’s clear that the Smash Bros community isn’t happy with Nintendo’s decision. However, this isn’t the only case in recent months that has had the general Nintendo community up in arms as it was also sent a slew of taken down videos on Twitter when they prompted fans for their favorite piece of music from the Legend of Zelda games. Clearly, Nintendo has some work to do in its handling of the community, particularly that of Twitch, YouTube, and fan events.
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