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Controversial New Nintendo Esports Guidelines Come into Effect for Smash

Controversial New Nintendo Esports Guidelines Come into Effect for Smash

Nintendo’s updated guidelines for community esports tournaments in the popular video game series Super Smash Bros. have come into effect on November 15th, amid persistent criticism of the changes. These new guidelines primarily focus on limiting the size and monetization options at unlicensed events, restricting the growth and operations of smaller tournaments.

While most game publishers employ criteria outlining the maximum scale and revenue that grassroots events can achieve before needing a licence, Nintendo’s guidelines are seen as more restrictive than those of its competitors. Furthermore, according to Esports News UK, licenses are not currently available in Europe, while only a “very limited” number can be found in Japan, Nintendo’s home country.

This development follows the controversial cancellation of the Smash World Tour 2023 last year after Nintendo declined to grant a licence to the tournament’s organizers. The decision was met with widespread backlash and brought attention to Nintendo’s contentious approach to esports.

Nintendo has faced long-standing criticism for its tight control over who can run esports events and how they can be conducted using its titles. The new guidelines, first announced on October 24th, only seem to reinforce that combative stance in the eyes of critics, further narrowing the options and opportunities for smaller tournaments to thrive.

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