Something I had to hide about Nintendo / Twitch as well #FreeMelee #SaveSmash
I haven't really had the opportunity to speak on everything going on this past week, and have been waiting to find the right words. Wasn't sure if I was going to do a post or a video on what Melee and Smash means to me etc, but I've been recovering from surgery and away from home. However, an interesting post dropped this morning by Linnea Capps (https://twitter.com/LiteralGrill/status/1331115475133194245), and it gave me the strength on a related topic to speak out on something I've had to hide.
Nearly everything in their post is correct. The only thing that seemed off was that it made it seem very protecting of Alex Strife in a way where in actuality behind the scenes, he was elated that he was positioned to be the first person to truly bring Nintendo into Smash and was ready to drop PM in a heartbeat for that. Moving on however in the post, you see a lot of interesting discussion about Twitch and their involvement in this.
This is true. I can confirm this first hand.
Did Nintendo fuel this? I'm almost entirely certain that part is true, but don't technically have proof.
In March of 2015 (so, two months after Apex 2015 where this all started), I streamed a tournament called Shots Fired. This was a PM national. I streamed it on Twitch. This was the last PM tournament I streamed on Twitch to CLASH Tournaments.
Why? I was forced.
I was aware of everything going on behind the scenes with Apex 2015 + Nintendo + Twitch, but thankfully was never in any forced situation to drop PM because I was no longer on the staff as of weeks before the event for issues I won't get into here. However because of this, I could keep supporting Project M. I had some big events, and Shots Fired was huge. I received a message, and thus a call, from a Twitch employee right after the event (it might have happened right before, I forget the exact timeline but it doesn't change this). I was told that Shots Fired would be the last PM tournament I could stream on Twitch. They were readying the removal of Project M from the platform, and I'm sure you can guess where this pressure came from. It didn't seem like Twitch wanted to do this, but they were still here talking to me
Twitch went top to bottom on removing it from the largest streams since that is how the damage and influence would be done, and I was second in line. They essentially let each of the streamers get one last big event by their standards - and Shots Fired was mine.
After that I was told I could no longer stream Project M on CLASH Tournaments through Twitch. I tried to deny and push back. They said I would lose my partnership if I did. They then told me I was not allowed to say that Twitch told me this and that I had to lie. I pushed back and said that isn't fair. They said if I said what I'm saying right now, that they forced me to do this, I would lose my partnership. They suggested some alternative things to say to lie about the situation or to lessen the blow. I refused to not tell the truth and never made such lies.
And so, I had to stop streaming the title. And I could not say why. Others tried to make up lies to save face, but I refused to do so. I couldn't not comply because my channel could be taken from me out of fear tactics when it was a central reason to my life as a content creator and pro team owner at the time. Could I have fought it? Possibly. I didn't have any special NDAs signed with Twitch and my partner contract with Twitch is one of the oldest there was since I was partnered back in 2013 or something and thus lacked certain verbiage common today, but I couldn't risk it.
I was then told by Twitch that they were trying to make the situation easier on the content creators that depended on Project M. I was told to gather analytics of roughly how much money I made loosely due to Project M (so PM related events and content creation, both on Twitch AND YOUTUBE) in the previous x months, and then they would continue to pay me such funds for a little bit. I gathered this information, then they ghosted me and never gave me anything. It honestly wasn't that much to be honest, since I was more centered around variety Smash and Brawl was my biggest.
And that's it. Except, unlike many others, I didn't stop supporting PM. I tried to find every loophole and comply with every promise with continuing to go. People may remember where I streamed a tournament called Summit in Canada, and I streamed it on Twitch to a channel called ProjectMCentral instead while I used CT in the other room for Melee. I streamed Project M on YouTube constantly so I could still use my subscriber base to keep views big for the title. I was briefly on the development team as far back as Brawl+ (the precursor to PM), and as an aspiring game developer myself, I refused to see it go down like how people tried to make it.
I was forced to drop it. I was forced to lie. This was all over 5 years ago though and my hold on Twitch content today is a shell of what it used to be, so I don't feel scared saying this now. Besides I know, this entire community is here to support each other. I only want things to be right. I want support for our titles, our content creators, our staff members, and our players.
I love Smash 64. I love Melee. I love Brawl. I love Project M. I love Smash 4. I love Ultimate.
Smash is Awesome. We're all the lifeblood of this, and don't forget it. Please let us continue to show this passion to the world. And watch the PM Documentary, it's going to be amazing.