Nintendo ends Smash World Tour ‘without any notice’

By | November 30, 2022

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Image🇧🇷 nintendo

Smash World Tour organizers have today announced that they are being shut down after Nintendo, “without any notice”, said they were “no longer able to operate”.

the tourwhich is managed by a third party (since Nintendo has traditionally been bad at this), it has grown over the years to become a of the biggest in the esports and fighting game scene. As the SWT team says:

In 2022 alone, we connected more than 6,400 live events around the world, with more than 325,000 in-person attendees, making the Smash World Tour (SWT, or the Tour) the largest esports tour in history, for any game title. The championship would also boast the biggest prize pool in Smash history with over $250,000. Smash World Tour 2023 planned to have a prize pool of over $350,000.

That’s all freebies, though, because organizers now say “Without any notice, we received notice the night before Thanksgiving from Nintendo that we could no longer operate.” While Nintendo has yet to comment – we’ve reached out to the company –Nintendo recently teamed up with Panda to run a number of officially licensed competing games. Smash events🇧🇷

While this is a disappointment to organizers, fans and SWT players, it has also put the team in a big financial hole, as so many bookings and plans for the events have already been made. As they say in the cancellation announcement:

We still don’t know where it’s all going with contracts, sponsorship obligations, etc – in short, we’ll be losing hundreds of thousands of dollars due to Nintendo’s actions. That said, we are taking steps to remedy many issues that have arisen with the cancellation of the upcoming Smash World Tour Championships – especially for players. Please keep an eye out over the coming days for help with travel arrangements. Given the timeline we were forced into, we had to post this statement before we could iron out all the details. All participants will be fully refunded.

The change surprised the SWT team who believed, after years of friction, that they were starting to make some headway with Nintendo:

In November 2021, after the Panda Cup was first announced, Nintendo reached out to us to take a call with some of their staff, including a representative of their legal team. We really thought we might be turned off given the fact that they now had a licensed competition circuit and a partner in Panda.

Once we got on the call, we were very surprised to hear the exact opposite.

Nintendo reached out to let us know that they had been watching us build over the years and wanted to see if we were interested in working on with them and seeking a license as well. They made it clear that Panda’s partnership was not exclusive and said it “didn’t go unnoticed” that we had not infringed on their IP regarding game modifications and that we represented Nintendo’s values ​​well. They made it clear that game mods were their main concern in regards to “reducing events”, which also made sense to us given their enforcement over the last few years in this regard.

That long conversation changed our perspective on Nintendo on a macro level; it was incredibly refreshing to talk to several members of the senior team and clear up many miscommunications and doubts over the past few years. We explained why so many in the community were hesitant to reach out to Nintendo to work together, and we really believed that Nintendo was taking a hard look at their relationship with the community and ways to get involved in a positive way.

I think not! In addition to Nintendo now stipulating that tournaments could only be run with an official license – something SWT was unsuccessful in enrolling – the team also claimed that Panda undermined them for individual event organizers (the World Tour would have been an umbrella linking them), and that while Nintendo kept saying nice things to their faces, Panda told these grassroots organizers that the Smash World Tour was definitely wrapping up, which made them reluctant to get on board.

You can read the full ad herewhich goes into much more detail, and closes with a plea “that Nintendo reconsider how it is currently proceeding with its relationship with the Smash community, as well as its partners”.

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