Today, Nintendo released some community tournament guidelines in Europe and Japan. These seem to have some massive implications for the competitive Smash scene. So, let’s take a look at the most important parts:
- All for-profit tournaments are now prohibited unless the organizer obtains a license from Nintendo. Effectively this means all events must follow these guidelines unless the organizer has Nintendo's permission and a license.
- Community tournaments may not receive any money or goods from sponsors or other third parties.
- All community tournaments have an entry fee cap of €20/$20 for each competitor. There is also an admission fee cap of €15/$15 per spectator. These fees can only be used to cover the cost of organizing the event.
- The community tournaments also have an entrant cap. The maximum is 200 competitors for in-person events and 300 for online events.
- There is a prize cap of €5,000/$5,000 for community tournaments. Additionally, no organizer can give out more than €10,000/$10,000 in prizing per year.
- Community tournaments cannot imply they’re associated with Nintendo.
- Community tournament names cannot contain any Nintendo IPs, even if shortened. They also cannot use any logos, characters or art associated with Nintendo IPs in promotional material. There is an exception though, organizers can use screenshots of the game they're playing.
- Any and all game modifications are prohibited. Additionally, all game copies must be obtained legally.
- Online community tournaments must use Nintendo’s official online servers for their games.
- All organizers must post official notices on all promotional material for their events. The first is “Nintendo is not a sponsor of or affiliated with this tournament.". The second is “Terms for participating in and viewing Community Tournaments using Nintendo Games” with one of the following URLs: https://www.nintendo.co.uk/Legal-in...all-Participants-and-Spectators--2468907.html or https://en-americas-support.nintendo.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/63433
- Nintendo retains the right to shut down any tournament at their discretion.
- The effective date for these guidelines is November 15th, 2023.
Currently, Nintendo of America hasn’t posted their own guidelines yet. This article will be updated with the USD values for fees and any relevant changes if those are posted.
Update: Nintendo of America has posted their community guidelines. All fees remain the same as their European counterparts but in USD instead of EUR.
Author’s Note: On a completely unrelated note I’d like to remind everyone that Rivals of Aether exists. It’s a really cool platform fighter, people should check that out more. In all seriousness though, yeah, I don't think this is very good. To be blunt, it’s pretty bad news for most tournaments. Luckily though, I don’t think this will truly “kill” the Smash scene, however it can definitely hurt it. But, what do you think? Please let us know in the comments below!
Thumbnail Graphic: Zerp