Project M, the popular Super Smash Bros. Brawl mod, shut down for good under rather mysterious circumstances.
Project M, a fan effort to make Super Smash Bros. Brawl more like Super Smash Bros. Melee, has ceased development today after six years. The developers are now turning their focus to a mysterious “new venture.”
“We realize that this will come as a shock to many of our fans,” wrote the development team on the Project M website earlier today. “Please, forgive us.”
Their website only contains an apology to the fans. Download links are all gone.
Project M was never sanctioned by Nintendo, which is not surprising as the whole project was fans saying, “We don’t like this new game. We like the old one better.”
The project began when Super Smash Bros. Brawl was released for the Wii in 2008 and fans reacted poorly to the changes made by designer Masahiro Sakurai. The changes Sakurai made included slowing the game down, removing elements of skill and replacing them with chance. Project M initially started as a way to modify Falco, one of the series’ more popular characters, but the response from fans was so positive that it snowballed out of control and eventually became a full game mod. In the years since, Project M added countless new characters—including fan favorites Mewtwo and Roy—added new stages, and slowly tweaked the game.
The mod no doubt appeared on Nintendo’s radar after it attracted more than three million downloads in its lifetime and was being played in national Smash tournaments. Though Nintendo never publicly addressed the mode, if you ever mentioned the phrase “Project M” on the Miiverse for 3DS or Wii U, it could apparently result in a ban.
Despite the Miiverse restrictions, Nintendo never actually delivered a cease and desist to Project M, which allowed development to fruitfully continue over six years. And though Project M is dead, that’s not because Nintendo intervened.
To clarify: We weren't contacted, issued a C&D, threatened or had legal action taken against us in any way, but we want it to stay that way.
— Video Game Attorney (@MrRyanMorrison) December 2, 2015
Regardless of Nintendo not taking any legal action, Project M is dead.
“We started a journey born out of our shared love for competitive fighting games,” the team said in its farewell. “Eventually, the electrifying passion that coursed through us arced out and drew in more people until our small circle of friends grew into a team, and that team grew into an international community. Project M and its community have grown larger than any of us ever anticipated, and it’s truly heartwarming to see all of the unforgettable connections and friendships that have been forged through this project.”
Fingers crossed that whatever their new venture is it makes as many people happy as their mod did.