Last month, Nintendo angered Super Smash Bros. fans by issuing a cease-and-desist order to The Big House, one of the most popular competitive Super Smash Bros. Melee events. Nintendo’s official statement was that they did so because the tournament made use of Slippi, an unofficial mod which allows Melee to be played online. As a result of the cease-and-desist, The Big House’s event was cancelled entirely.
Following this, fans were extremely upset at Nintendo, and the hashtag #freemelee began to appear on social media sites such as Twitter.
Last weekend, the livestream of another competitive event, the Splatoon 2 North American Open, was suddenly cancelled. An official statement from the event’s admins said that the reason for this cancellation was “unexpected executional challenges.”
However, a Splatoon commentator going by @SlimyQuagsire on Twitter made a statement blaming Nintendo for the livestream’s cancellation. SlimyQuagsire revealed that a number of teams participating in the final round of the event had given themselves names including the words “FreeMelee” and other references to the cancelled Big House. This has led to further criticism of Nintendo by fans, which has become especially prevalent on social media.
So the Splatoon community, in support of the Smash community, has 30% of the top teams in this weekend's Spl2 NA Open with Team names in support of Melee and Smash.
So what does @NintendoAmerica @NintendoVS do in response?
They cancelled their livestream for tomorrow's Finals.
— Slimy (@SlimyQuagsire) December 5, 2020
Competitive events which do not meet their exacting standards are not the only parts of the fan community which Nintendo is targeting. It recently came to light that the company had issued a cease-and-desist against CptnAlex, a designer of custom controllers and controller shells. Alex had created a design inspired by YouTuber Etika, who died as a result of suicide in 2019, and was selling them and donating part of the proceeds to suicide prevention organization, The JED Foundation. Nintendo’s cease-and-desist allege that Alex was using “JoyCon,” a trademarked term, when selling his controllers.
Alex is currently in possession of a large number of controller shells which he is no longer allowed to sell due to Nintendo’s interference.
First campaign was not successful.
Second campaign was successful.
Remaining stock of Joycons were for sale my Etsy since last year.
Nintendo sent me a cease and desist at the end of September.
Here’s a picture of me with a bin of all the shells I can’t sell anymore pic.twitter.com/ytdWzObh9x
— CptnAlex (@Cptn_Alex) December 7, 2020
Although Nintendo did make an official statement earlier this year regarding Big House, they have not yet responded to this latest round of fan criticism.