Gamers, especially hardcore ones, are great at finding and developing new game mods for old titles, enhancing the gaming experience, and keeping the titles alive. Unfortunately, gaming companies don’t always approve of such mods, and some even frown upon the very mention of modded software. Nintendo, on the other hand, outright threatens lawsuits. That’s right, Nintendo’s lawyers swooped in and ruined the upcoming Super Smash Bros. Ultimate event over the use of Smash Bros. Brawl mod called Project+.
After learning that a Super Smash Bros. Ultimate event at an Ohio waterpark scheduled for September 10 would feature competitive play for Project+, the organizers of Riptide, a three-day Super Smash Bros. tournament event, were contacted by Nintendo of America representatives. As a result of that particular conversation, according to Riptide’s Twitter post, there will be no Project+ tournament or setups at Riptide. Needless to say, the fans and attendees aren’t happy about Nintendo’s actions.
Riptide acknowledged the news’ impact on the Project+ community and announced refunds to all attendees registered for Project+ events. However, this last-minute change of plans puts competitors and fans who already booked passes, travel, and accommodations for the event in an awkward position, giving them less than two weeks to find an alternative course of action. Granted, Riptide is handling refunds for Project+ on their end, but flights and accommodations might be a different story. Not only did they pull the plug on one of their biggest titles, but now they’re doing the same with gaming tournaments?
The annual Riptide Smash Bros. tournament event was previously postponed due to the global pandemic last year. This year, the three-day fighting game spectacle located at the Kalahari Resort in Sandusky, Ohio, got canceled but partially, as it will no longer feature Project+. For those uninformed, Project+ is a variant of the popular Project M mod for 2008’s Smash Bros. Brawl that makes the Nintendo Wii game for high-level or professionally competitive play. Given the last-minute announcements and the shutdown of Project+ events under threat of legal action against Riptide, fans are furious at Nintendo.
Unfortunately, this isn’t an isolated incident, but just one of many battles Nintendo wages against its fans, especially against the Smash Bros. community for its use of modded versions of the game in tournaments. The reason can be justified, as modding often implies piracy, and using pirated versions of Nintendo’s software for commercial purposes is something Nintendo frowns upon greatly. The company has, just recently, legally pursued torrent sites over pirated Nintendo ROMs. Not only that, but the company shut down an entire Big House tournament last year over a mod that actually improves Smash Bros.‘s online stability.
However, the Project+ event was supposed to be entirely offline, given that Smash Bros. Brawl‘s multiplayer has been out of commission since 2014. Additionally, the mod requires physical disc copies of Brawl to even work, so piracy isn’t an issue here. The mod simply tinkers with the game’s code to make it more competitive for the players. No harm done to Nintendo. Unfortunately, Nintendo seems to disagree with the fans. It’s worth noting that the upcoming Low Trade City event, scheduled for October, is still set to feature Project+. At least until Nintendo hears about it.