The development team behind Project M, the popular mod for the Nintendo Wii’s Super Smash Bros. Brawl that’s been in development the past six years, has suddenly called it quits. Not only will there be no further updates, but the official website no longer even includes the files or instructions for downloading and installing the mod. Why stop? Why remove everything? Nobody seems to know the exact reason.
The official statement from the group has replaced the landing page for the mod, and it’s all that seems to exist on the website now. The group will apparently be at least partially moving on to develop “new projects,” though exactly what this is they’ve yet to elaborate on. Given the team’s focus, it’s likely members are working on something related to fighting games, but there’s nothing stopping them from coming out with the next role-playing game of note if that’s their desire.
The statement on the mod’s website frames it all as a business-related decision, one that they’ve made of their own free will. “In summary,” the final paragraph of the statement begins, “we are ceasing development of Project M (effective immediately) and will be making no further releases as we turn our attention towards an entirely new venture.” The sudden decision, made public late on Dec. 1, hasn’t been received particularly well.
One major complaint? That the team isn’t being transparent about its reasoning. Speculation, which is all it is at the moment, mostly seems concerned with whether the team was bullied into shutting everything down by Nintendo or lawyers representing the video game company. Several individuals associated with the development team, including the lawyer representing them in official correspondence going forward, have been quick to deny anything of the sort.
“We weren’t issued a [cease and desist], threatened with one or a lawsuit or had legal action taken against us in any way, but we want it to stay that way,” reads a reddit comment from development team member warchamp7. “Taking down the full site was of course part of this.” The “we want it to stay that way” certainly reads like at least some of the folks involved were concerned that they’d eventually end up on the wrong side of a lawsuit, given the legal gray area involved in modifications like Project M.
We’ve reached out to the team’s legal representative Ryan Morrison about whether there will be an official archive of the mod’s final update, 3.6, and will update when and if we receive a response.