Nintendo Launches Strict New Community Tournament Guidelines, Fans Appalled

Nintendo Launches Strict New Community Tournament Guidelines, Fans Appalled

Nintendo has updated its guidelines around organised events focusing on small-scale competitive play. They are, er, rather strict. The new guidelines clarify what Nintendo will and won’t allow before it forces organisers to apply for an official (and expensive) license. The new guidelines place hard caps on everything from the number of tournament entrants to the price of admission.

Per Eurogamer, the revised Community Tournament Guidelines were first published on Nintendo’s Japanese site before being translated (and slightly tweaked) for the Nintendo UK website. They are quite clear on what Nintendo wants and, in so doing, are quite clear on why Nintendo is doing this — Nintendo will continue to allow tournaments to continue without a license after November 15, 2023, on the condition that they are “small-scale and not for commercial profit.”

In a nutshell: if your Smash Bros tournament gets too big and you stand to make money on it, Nintendo wants a piece of that action.

But it goes further than that. Any organised event, which Nintendo calls “community tournaments”, can’t allow more than 200 in-person participants a day. For online tournaments, the maximum number of participants Nintendo will allow rises to 300. Money raised through ticket sales and entry fees cannot exceed the cost of organising the event or putting together prize money. Tickets and entry fees must also be capped at £18 (around $AU35) and £14 (roughly $AU27) respectively. Total prize money must also not exceed £4,500 ($AU8,600).

But Nintendo still isn’t done! Venues cannot sell food and drink to spectators. Events cannot use the name of any Nintendo game in their name (though game names can be used in any descriptive text). Schools are allowed to host license-free tournaments, but only between two schools and the tournament can’t be open to the public.

There are many, many more details and no-no’s in the text and I urge anyone who runs local tournaments in Aus to give them a look over.

The response from community organisers around the world has already been one of dismay and disbelief, with many fearing it spells the end of unofficial events. Others feel it’s time community-run Nintendo tourneys reject modernity and embrace tradition, returning to underground LANs and off-the-grid comps.

“We’re going underground buckos,” said Reddit user SabinSuplexington. “Back to the old days. Tournaments will be held in restaurant basements, it is gonna be cash entry only, and Project M is gonna be there.”

This is just the latest salvo in Nintendo’s ongoing (and very strange) war with community tournament organisers. Just last year, Nintendo shut down the popular Smash World Tour tournament without any warning. When Nintendo responded, telling Kotaku US that the two parties couldn’t come to an agreement, tournament organisers slammed it as bogus. The story finally concluded with organisers and fans of the Smash World Tour insisting they wouldn’t return for any future events run by Nintendo or esports organiser Panda Global. Nintendo offered to let the 2022 tournament go ahead as planned, but after the rug pull, organisers weren’t having it.

The Smash World Tour has not returned in 2023.

Image: Nintendo

The Cheapest NBN 1000 Plans

Looking to bump up your internet connection and save a few bucks? Here are the cheapest plans available.

At Kotaku, we independently select and write about stuff we love and think you'll like too. We have affiliate and advertising partnerships, which means we may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. BTW – prices are accurate and items in stock at the time of posting.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *