Nintendo has sent a cease-and-desist to The Big House, a Super Smash Bros. tournament event, leading to the cancellation of the event that would have occurred on Dec. 4 – 6. According to event organizers, Nintendo stated they did not “have permission to host or broadcast the event, primarily due to the usage of Slippi.” Slippi is software that enables rollback netcode for playing GameCube’s Super Smash Bros. Melee online, which essentially makes for a pretty smooth online experience. The Big House was to include both Super Smash Bros. Melee and Ultimate play.
There is no legal, Nintendo-backed option by which to play Super Smash Bros. Melee online, and the company was not willing to make an exception for The Big House. Granted, other unofficial Super Smash Bros. events occur online on a semi-regular basis without interruption from Nintendo, but the difference here apparently is that Nintendo had been partnering with The Big House organizers for this event.
— The Big House (@TheBigHouseSSB) November 19, 2020
Nintendo has issued its own statement on the matter, essentially claiming that it gave The Big House the opportunity to not proceed with Super Smash Bros. Melee play but continue with legal Super Smash Bros. Ultimate online play. Nintendo only stepped in to “protect its intellectual property and brands” when the organizers refused to agree to this.
Nintendo's statement on the Big House event cancelation: pic.twitter.com/GCyHeeWpcy
— Patrick Shanley (@pshanley88) November 19, 2020
Meanwhile, Slippi creator Fizzi is not happy about this situation, stating, “I am disappointed that Nintendo is restricting our ability to power through these hard times.” He is pushing the #FreeMelee tag in protest.
— Jas | FIZZI#36 (@Fizzi36) November 19, 2020
There is likely still more to this story to be told, as it is peculiar why The Big House organizers would opt to cancel the entire event as opposed to only canceling Super Smash Bros. Melee play and preserving Super Smash Bros. Ultimate play.