Gaming YouTuber Ludwig Ahgren, also known as Ludwig, recently shared a story about how Nintendo sent him a “baby cease-and-desist” letter a few months ago. This happened because Ludwig wanted to make modifications to Super Smash Bros. Melee for a tournament he was hosting.
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In a video titled “I Got Sued by Nintendo” released on October 25, Ludwig shared that Nintendo had sent him a formal Notice of Infringement of Intellectual Property a few months prior. This document stated that Ludwig was using Nintendo’s IP without proper authorization. Ludwig was planning to use a modified version of Super Smash Bros. Melee’s Pokémon Stadium stage for his tournament, but Nintendo took issue with this.
Ludwig mentioned that he couldn’t show the actual paperwork because Nintendo had inadvertently posted his address on it. However, he described it as a “baby cease-and-desist” where Nintendo asked him to stop and follow their rules instead of outright banning him from making modifications.
On October 24, Nintendo announced new restrictions for Super Smash Bros. tournaments. These restrictions include a maximum of 200 participants, a $5,000 prize pool cap, no sponsors, and the use of an unmodified version of the game. Larger organizers like Video Game Boot Camp (VGBC) need a special license from Nintendo to host commercial tournaments. The community, from casual players to professionals, is saddened by these changes and fear it may mark the end of the game’s esports scene.
This is not the first time Nintendo has faced backlash from the Super Smash Bros. community. Previously, there have been disputes between Nintendo and pro players as well as tournament organizers. These conflicts have led to boycotts of events involving Nintendo-affiliated organizations. The future of Smash Bros. events remains uncertain.
Kotaku reached out to both Ludwig and Nintendo for comment regarding the situation.
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Despite these challenges, it’s clear that Nintendo can’t extinguish the love people have for the game. As pro player Joseph “Mang0″ Marquez declares in Ludwig’s video, players will continue to enjoy Melee in their minds and find ways to keep playing, even if it means gathering in a garage.