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Nintendo fans outraged by ‘draconian’ guidelines for community tournaments

Nintendo fans outraged by ‘draconian’ guidelines for community tournaments
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate – pictured: Smash and Splatoon players reading the new tournament guidelines (Picture: Nintendo)

The new rules for fan-made Nintendo tournaments include a ban on modded software and no serving food and drink.

Whereas most game publishers have embraced the competitive scene and actively support it with official tournaments and the like, Nintendo has only recently begun to follow suit and even then, is doing so in its typical Nintendo way.

Last year, it partnered with esports brand Panda Global to host the first official Super Smash Bros. tournaments, but this resulted in the series being pulled from Evo and the unofficial Smash World Tour event being permanently shut down .

Nintendo clearly isn’t fond of people running tournaments using its games without express permission from the company (it’s shut down many of them over the years), and now fans fear such events will be even harder to organise thanks to a new set of guidelines from the publisher.

These Community Tournament Guidelines were recently published on Nintendo’s UK website and are identical to what’s been published in Japan and the US.

They’re quite lengthy, so we’re not going to provide an in-depth breakdown, but, at a first glance, Nintendo isn’t explicitly preventing any unlicensed grassroots tournaments from taking place.

However, it is insisting that such events follow these new rules, which many have deemed as being far too strict. For instance, in-person events can’t have any more than 200 participants and Nintendo forbids the use of any of its trademarks for promotional purposes. So, a Splatoon 3 event can’t use the word Splatoon in its name or use any of the characters on posters and the like.

One especially bizarre rule is that community events will not be allowed to provide any food or beverages.

Nintendo’s tournament stuff is quite draconian imo, but unfortunately I think 90%+ of people are just not going to care very much there will be (+ there currently is) an extremely vocal uproar from the loud minority that do participate in competitive stuff but anyone else? meh — Oatmeal (@OatmealThoughts) October 25, 2023

but the reason why it is, is because MANY disabled gamers (like myself) use third party accessories to be able to game. This can be anything from controllers you can use with your feet, tools to make the game work with a straw you can blow in to move your character, — Arevya – Gaming is for EVERYONE 💕♿️ (@arevya) October 24, 2023

Nintendo Ninjas storming a major tournament venue because it has 201 entrants instead of 200: — Ultima (@UltimaShadowX) October 24, 2023

So to summarize Nintendo’s new local tournament guidelines: – No sponsors at all. – You can’t say “Super Smash Bros.” on your flyer to advertise your community smash tourney. Or show the logo. – You can’t play Nintendo music at the event. – No food or water sales. Crazy. — Vampire Batt AcooOooña 🦇 (@Acuna_Mattata) October 24, 2023

In addition, Nintendo games may not be used for Community Tournaments that: Tournaments involving the sale of food, beverages, or merchandise Nintendo when they catch you selling bottled water at a smash tournament — Adrian Smith (@asmith906) October 25, 2023

Nintendo has new rules for how grassroots competitions should be held, and if they’re serious about enforcing, it’s going to–at worst–kill grassroots tourneys–and at best, force us to change our Splatoon tourneys a lot for what feels like dumb reasons. — Rose of BOO 👻 (@roseofbattle) October 24, 2023

Even in a perfect world where every major tournament gets Nintendo’s approval, those majors would not have grown into what they are today under the new community guidelines. Smash is a grassroots scene, and these changes severely limit grassroots events. — SQUAWK! | BioBirb (@BioBirb) October 24, 2023

Nintendo when little Timmy hosts a smash tournament for his birthday — Splat (@Splatarts_) October 25, 2023

Perhaps the most damning rule is that tournaments must use officially licensed Nintendo products. So, no pirated or modified games or hardware. This effectively puts the nail in the coffin for any online Super Smash Bros. Melee tournaments since, as a GameCube game, it requires a mod to be played online.

The ban on modded hardware could also mean disabled players will be unable to make use of custom controllers that let them actually play the game.

The whole thing has naturally attracted a lot of doom posting and criticisms online, with some declaring the new guidelines as ‘draconian,’ while others are making jokes about Nintendo sending its lawyers to kids’ birthday parties for hosting unlicensed tournaments.

More: Trending The Elder Scrolls 6 will have same levelling system and progression as Skyrim Game Pass seems to have missed its sales target for the third year running Nintendo discusses 'new platform' and implies backwards compatibility for Switch 2

The idea of Nintendo cracking down on such events and suing organisers for millions may seem laughable, but that’s only if you’ve not being paying attention.

Owners of emulation sites have been sued for as much as $12 million . One Gary Bowser, who was arrested for selling hacking devices for Nintendo hardware, will most likely die of natural causes before ever paying off his $14 million fine to the company.

The threat of such fines, let alone the strict rules, will no doubt dissuade a lot of people from ever attempting such things.

“can we just ignore it” I mean yeah but Imagine getting hit by the Nintendo ends your life beam. Imagine being the unlucky local to have to cough up thousands to millions of dollars because you ran a VIDEO GAME TOURNAMENT — TimeGear🐺 (@TimeGear_) October 24, 2023

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MORE : Nintendo gets revenge on Zelda: Tears Of The Kingdom leaks by shutting down emulator tools

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