Having a single website go down isn't so unusual. But in this case, bizarrely, the Smash Bros community has allegedly become a target for multiple distributed denial of service attacks (which disable a website's server with high traffic). Meaning, we're not just dealing with one downed website. We're dealing with multiple out of commission websites.
Earlier today a Reddit thread by AlphaZealot, owner of Smashboards, appeared which broke the news down: AllisBrawl and Smashboards, two Smash Bros community sites, and Project M, a website dedicated to a popular Brawl mod, are allegedly being hit with denial of service attacks.
According to AlphaZealot, the first attack was suffered by AllisBrawl on August 15th, and the site has been combating attacks ever since. Then on the 16th, Smashboards also came under attack, which resulted in some data loss. Then, later, Project M also went down because of an attack. All the websites are currently inaccessible as of this writing, and the attacker(s) are unknown.
Although it's been five and a half years since the release of the last Smash Bros. game, some of these communities are huge -- Smashboards on its own boasts over 120,000 fans. Tournaments for the franchise award over 500,000 dollars yearly, despite lack of developer support and an overall lack of sponsorship -- Nintendo made headlines earlier this year when it attempted to block Evo, a huge fighting game tournament, from streaming Smash Bros. Melee matches. Despite that, Nintendo relented and Melee went on to break a fighting game stream record.
"All of the owners of these sites (myself, Strongbad/Warchamp, and Neal/JV) are working together to bring things back online and we are sharing information about potential solutions," AlphaZealot wrote.
"We are personally fortunate enough to have an understanding server host who has cooperated with us during this situation," Project M's Taylor Giampaolo told Kotaku. "Unfortunately, the only viable solution to the problem at this moment is expensive and not something we can easily pursue. If this is somehow still ongoing in a week or so, we do have a plan to mitigate these attacks."
Kotaku has contacted the other websites that are currently under attack, and will update you as we learn more. For now, those interested in downloading Project M -- which takes Brawl, and changes the gameplay so that it more closely resembles that of Melee -- can still acquire the mod here.
The Great Smash DDoS of 2013 [r/smashbros]