Nintendo's New Community Tournament Guidelines

The day started with Nintendo Japan sharing a new guideline about community tournaments. Basically it determines stuff like entry fee maximum value, pot prizes and participants cap per day (200 offline and 300 online) among other stuff.

Particularly, the Smash Bros. Community started sharing concerns that this guideline would be exported, and a few hours later, Nintendo UK followed up by publishing the same guideline (currency and such adjusted), and it's looking like other regions will get the same rulling.

As a Smash Bros. Ultimate competitive player myself, i don't understand this. It makes no sense whatsoever. Of course, Nintendo has screwed Smashers in the past a few times and the community knows what they're capable of.

It's so anti-consumer, doesn't make any god damn sense.

There's a lot of gamedev/publishers out there wishing their game sold 30 million+ copies and had giant tournaments every damn weekend. Why is Nintendo so obsessed with keeping people under their foot?

UK Version:
JP Version:

I do wonder if there is some sort of legal thing going on right now with esports in general. I saw recently that Stripe decided to refuse to process payments related to “games of skill,” which (in my recollection) were also thrown in together with gambling and stuff like that. I wonder if a crackdown on betting-based card games, and gambling in general, is trickling down to video games? I don‘t know that world at all, so I have no way to say. I feel like Nintendo’s main thing here is the classic big-family-friendly-company move of not wanting to be associated in any way, even totally tangentially, with family-unfriendly activities like gambling. If that‘s the case, it’s extremely ironic considering that every other video game company is all-in on promoting gambling-like behaviour in children and teens.

This does totally suck though. I mean, I don't know exactly how big the prize pools for Smash tournaments are, but I imagine first place can reach a bit higher than 5000 euros. The Smash community is extremely resilient, so they'll find some sort of way to operate, but it's such a shame that they're constantly having to navigate around all this nonsense.

Wow, these are pretty bizarre and exacting guidelines even for Nintendo. A lot of it seems to stem from the (very short-sighted) line that a lot of Japanese video game companies have, which is “don't make money with our game”. But there‘s a whole lot of other stuff in there too. You can’t host a tournament in a region where the game didn't come out? What is that?

@“Mnemogenic”#p137755 Absolutely bonkers. Smash majors in japan regularly get 1.2k competitors. Gone, just gone.

~(Written on my phone; not meant to be a genius post or anything just a quick rant and conversation starter. I’m busy playing Ys on original hardware and can’t be arsed to use a keyboard for this right now)

At first it seemed like only NOE and NOJ released these new community guidelines, but it is confirmed that NOA has also. Here’s basically what they say:


Nintendo forbids tournaments that involve their games including more than 200 in-person or 300 online contestants

> — charging more than it costs to set up the tournament

> — having any sponsors at all

> — selling food drinks or merch

> — using any modded games like 20XX

> — anything else nintendo deems inappropriate.

So either someone tries to sue NOA over this, or tournaments are no longer going to be a thing and many peoples careers are now over. I think this is just as if not more fucked than layoffs. They could do it anyway and fight it in court under fair use or something.

Just throwing this out there. Extremely lame, maybe I’m the only here that cares, I’m not even *that* affected by it, since I don’t participate, but this is basically my favorite spectator sport going away without the motivation of large tournaments. I’m sure other fighting game people understand. I’m not torn up but I do feel strongly.

Anyways keep boycotting Nintendo of America.
Opening the floor to any opinions or experiences from anyone or fighting game tournament enjoyers.

[“Smash Bros. Tournaments are Now Underground and therefore Cool”,“Smash Bros. Tournaments are Now Forbidden and therefore Cool”]

I don't even like the vibe of competitive Smash Bros (the game specifically, the concept is great!). And you know what? This is stupid, dumb, and shortsighted on the part of Nintendo. Capcom has gotten weird about this in the past, and has mostly gotten it figured out with the Street Fighter community.

I am not a lawyer, but I agree with the armchair analysis. I think that this could constitute a transformative work for the purposes of copyright and also be defensible given rights conferred by the first sale doctrine (in the US).

I am however a business strategist and this is just dumb business strategy. It's bad marketing because now all your most rabid fans are talking about this instead of _Mario Wonder_.


Seems like Japanese locals are getting the license for the 200+ attendees tourneys.

I’m not easily surprised. On one hand, I’m not surprised nintendo would stoop to lows like this. On the other, it is a big bad surprise. Shocking how quickly a company can attempt to wipe out large institutions with one swoop, outside of court, with just a simple update to guidelines.

{“count”:4,“titles”:[“Smash Bros. Tournaments are Now Forbidden and therefore Cool”]}

Merged the two threads together (though @treefroggy 's thread did have a name that was arguably more fun!) for better visibility.

Sorry, video game related threads are getting blasted by non gaming threads lately so I must have missed it!

Sounds like licenses will be made available… so that lessens the blow… but will homies still be able to feed their families by wavedashing?

@“treefroggy”#p137945 I think melee specifically won‘t even be allowed anymore.

On the license request page there’s only switch games

god darn 1-2 switch is on the list

@“marxseny”#p137947 OOF. That was probably a huge motivator. They’ve always hated the fact that people exist who think melee is the most fun. RIP IWATA SAN

The response I‘m seeing from a lot of JP folk about these guidelines is far more positive—if you happen to live in Japan, where playing any game in any sort of non-amateur setting is still a complete minefield, they actually do a lot to not only provide very clear info on how venues and event organisers can pursue events with attendance fees, bigger-than-nothing cash prizes, etc without falling afoul of the law, and I’ve even seen calls for other companies to release guidelines based on these ones.

My impression is that NCL probably wrote them for their own region and then forced them onto the international branches with minimal changes, and that they're not only not helpful but actively detrimental most everywhere else.