Nintendo shuts down Smash World Tour ‘without warning’

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The organizers of the Smash World Tour have today announcement that they are closed after Nintendo, “without any warning”, told them they could “no longer operate”.

RoundWhich one is run by a third party (since Nintendo has always been so bad at it), had grown over the years to become a of the greatest in the esports and fighting games scene. As the SWT team puts it:

In 2022 alone, we’ve connected over 6,400 live events globally, with over 325,000 in-person attendees, making the Smash World Tour (SWT, or the Tour) the biggest esports tour in the world. history, regardless of game title. Championships also reportedly had the largest prize pool in Smash history at over $250,000. The Smash World Tour 2023 predicted a prize pool of over $350,000.

It’s quite a toast, however, as the organizers are now saying “Without any warning, we received notice the day before Thanksgiving from Nintendo that we could no longer operate.” While Nintendo has yet to comment – we have contacted the company –Nintendo recently partnered with Panda to release a series of officially licensed competing games. smash events.

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

We don’t yet know where everything will end up with contracts, sponsor obligations, etc. In short, we are going to lose hundreds of thousands of dollars because of Nintendo’s actions. That being said, we are taking action to address many issues related to the cancellation of the upcoming Smash World Tour Championships, especially for players. Please keep an eye out for the next few days for assistance with travel arrangements. Given the timeline we were forced into, we had to release this statement before we could iron out all the details. All participants will receive a full refund.

This decision blindsided the SWT team who had believed, after years of friction, that they were beginning to make progress with Nintendo:

In November 2021, after the Panda Cup was first announced, Nintendo reached out to us to set up a call with a few people from their team, including a representative from their legal team. We really thought we might be closed considering they now had a licensed competitor circuit and partner in Panda.

Once we joined the call, we were very surprised to hear quite the opposite.

Nintendo contacted us to let us know that they had watched us build over the years and wanted to see if we were interested in working with them and pursue a license as well. They clarified that Panda’s partnership was not exclusive, and they said it had “not gone unnoticed” that we had not infringed on their intellectual property regarding game modifications and that we had represented well Nintendo’s values. They made it clear that game modifications were their main concern when it came to “response to events”, which also made sense to us given their enforcement over the past few years in this regard.

This 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 misunderstandings and misgivings from previous years. We explained why so many community members were hesitant to reach out to Nintendo to work together, and we truly believe Nintendo was looking carefully at their relationship with the community and ways to get involved in a positive way.

I do not think so! In addition to Nintendo now stipulating that tournaments could only take place with an official license, something SWT had failed to apply – the team also alleges that Panda undermined them at individual event organizers (the World Tour would have been an umbrella tying them together), and that while Nintendo continued to say nice things to their faces, Panda had told these local organizers that the Smash World Tour was definitely going to be shut down, which made them reluctant to come on board.

You can read the full announcement herewhich goes into much more detail, and ends with a call “that Nintendo reconsider how it currently proceeds with its relationship with the Smash community, as well as with its partners”.

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