It’s been a pretty long road for the Project M, the popular Super Smash Bros Brawl mod that turns it into an experience more like Melee. Removed from tournaments because of unspecified legal issues, some slow development because of fading interest, competition with the latest Super Smash Bros game (which is more tournament ready than Brawl was)… it really could have been better in general.
But now, the project is seemingly over. Why? Because as the official site now says, the project team has disbanded and moved to more ‘professional’ ventures, with their work considered complete. Here’s the message from the team about the end of the project:
Six years ago, we started a journey born out of our shared love for competitive fighting games. 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.
Unfortunately, we’re here to say that we’re at the end of that road.
We’ve learned so much in the process of making Project M—accumulating life-changing lessons in communication, team work, professionalism, work ethic, and more—but there’s only so far we can take those skills in a volunteer project. With this in mind, we’ve made a difficult business decision: We’re ready to finish development here and move on to bigger and better ventures.
We realize that this will come as a shock to many of our fans. Please, forgive us. Again, it’s been an excruciating call to make, but it’s been made a bit easier by our satisfaction with the previous and final release, v3.6. We’ve spent six years polishing Project M, and rather than let it drag on through another several years of dwindling development and change-fatigue in the competitive circle, we’re going to consider our work complete.
In the mean time, we plan to be hard at work on new projects, built from the ground up. We can’t spill the beans just yet, but know that we’re looking towards a fresh start with brand new designs. Rather than splitting our focus, many of us want to dedicate ourselves to this new venture fully. In this way, we hope to maintain the level of quality and professionalism you’ve come to expect from us.
In summary, 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. As the PMDev team will be formally disbanded, please forward all official communications regarding Project M to video game attorney and business consultant . We appreciate your support and your understanding.
One final time,
Thank you for playing!
So what can do we think about this? Well on some level, we’re not surprised. Large fan projects are a difficult thing to keep running, what with the complete lack of potential to make money and the hours upon hours needed for development and testing. And with both Mushroom Kingdom Fusion and the URA Zelda Project both being cancelled due to team issues, motivation issues and a move to other projects, the voluntary shut down of this one isn’t really without precedent.
On the other hand, it does disappoint us, in that Project M was one of those fan works we thought was more well designed and built than the usual. This scene in general needs major projects to inspire people to start their own and to inspire both the game modding and fan game development scenes to aim for bigger and better things. Otherwise, we’ll end up in a rut where the only work being done by fans is on small, somewhat uninteresting things that don’t really show that much potential overall. Like the thousands of character texture mods for Smash Bros or the one world Mario demos over at sites like MFGG.
But either way, Project M is now finished. Will it be continued by a new team? Is there going to be a replacement? What do you think about these issues and the mod ending development?