campaign after nintendo shut down an online melee tournament

#FreeMelee

Part of a series on Super Smash Brothers Melee. [View Related Entries]

Updated Dec 06, 2020 at 05:37AM EST by Y F.

Added Nov 20, 2020 at 11:26AM EST by Adam.

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Overview

#FreeMelee refers to a hashtag campaign started after Nintendo sent a cease and desist letter to The Big House, a group organizing an online Super Smash Brothers tournament primarily due to the organization's usage of Slippi, a software that allows for online matchmaking for Nintendo's 2001 Gamecube title, Super Smash Brothers Melee. The cease and desist angered fans of the game, particularly as it signaled that Nintendo was preventing competitive play of the game in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Background

On November 19th, 2020, The Big House announced on Twitter that they had received a cease and desist from Nintendo about their upcoming Super Smash Brothers Tournament, which was going to be played online and streamed through the usage of Slippi.[1]


The Big House is heartbroken to share we've received a cease and desist from Nintendo of America, Inc. to cancel our upcoming online event. We were informed we do not have permission to host or broadcast the event, primarily due to the usage of Slippi. Sadly, all our competitions are affected. We are forced to comply with the order and cancel The Big House Online for both Melee and Ultimate. Refund information will be sent shortly. We apologize to all those impacted.

Developments

The announcement sparked anger among the Smash fandom, as it signaled that Nintendo was preventing competitive play of Melee during the COVID-19 pandemic. Twitter user @CoreAGaming[2] tweeted, "Imagine ruining the joy of so many people depressed by a global pandemic by shutting down their brilliant solution to play the game safely with others from their own homes. It really seems like @NintendoAmerica doesn't care about them," gaining over 650 retweets and 4,200 likes (shown below, left). User @BoundaryBreak[3] tweeted a quote from former Nintendo president Satoru Iwata that stated people should not be treated as criminals for their love of Nintendo, gaining over 2,500 retweets and 13,000 likes (shown below, right).


A Gerald Lee @CoreAGaming · 14h Imagine ruining the joy of so many people depressed by a global pandemic by shutting down their brilliant solution to play the game safely with others from their own homes. It really seems like @NintendoAmerica 000 CORE A gamino doesn't care about them. The Big House @TheBigHouseSSB · 20h The Big House is heartbroken to share we've received a cease and desist from Nintendo of America, Inc. to cancel our upcoming online event. We were informed we do not have permission to host or broadcast the event, primarily due to the usage of Slippi. Sadly, all our competitions are affected. We are forced to comply with the order and cancel The Big House Online for both Melee and Ultimate. Refund information will be sent shortly. We apologize to all those impacted. Shesez @BoundaryBreak · 17h 00 "it would not be appropriate if we treated people who did something based on affection for Nintendo, as criminals." - Former Nintendo president, Satoru Iwata 2010 O The Big House @TheBigHouseSSB · 20h The Big House is heartbroken to share we've received a cease and desist from Nintendo of America, Inc. to cancel our upcoming online event. We were informed we do not have permission to host or broadcast the event, primarily due to the usage of Slippi. Sadly, all our competitions are affected. We are forced to comply with the order and cancel The Big House Online for both Melee and Ultimate. Refund information will be sent shortly. We apologize to all those impacted.

The announcement led to the creation of the hashtag #FreeMelee, with which users expressed their anger at Nintendo's decision. User @SolidJakeGG[4] tweeted that Nintendo has a history of shutting down fan attempts to play the game competitively, gaining over 310 retweets and 2,000 likes (shown below, left). User @ZennDip[5] posted a joke which showed the Pepsiman breaking into Nintendo's office to "free Melee," gaining over 130 retweets and 3,000 likes (shown below, right). Nintendo's cease and desist and the angry fallout was covered by Polygon[6] and Kotaku.[7]


Jake Kulinski 00 @SolidJakeGG Nintendo denied MLG the rights to stream Brawl back in 2010, effectively ending it's chances of staying on the circuit. Nintendo shut down Project M Now Nintendo wants to cancel online melee events during a pandemic when local events aren't safe. #FreeMelee 8:09 AM · Nov 20, 2020 · Twitter Web App Zenn @ZennDIP 000 gonna take matters into my own hands #FreeMelee Nintendo tendo gonna save melee 11:14 PM· Nov 19 2020 · Tvwitter Web App

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Top Comments

Tao_Swordsman
Tao_Swordsman

Definitely a s***ty move on big N to do that, especially when the tournament was done primarily to keep folks from falling ill to the pandemic. There are those who are also making it a sticking point to this kind of thing, Twitter user 'LudwigAhgren' doing a charity version of the tournament, the prizes going to a charity of the victor's choice. Said version is definitely a lose-lose situation for Nintendo; Big N decides to can this one and it's gonna be a PR s***show due to them shutting down a tournament whose prizes are going to charity, with dozens of articles pointing it out, or they keep it up and lose legal ground in that TBH would demand why they got shut down and not the charity one.

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