Well, here we are again. Hot off the heels of another Nintendo decision that makes people puzzled and confused. As anyone who’s followed them even a little know, Nintendo has a pretty ugly reputation of tossing out cease and desist letters to anything that has even a shred of their copyright attached. ROMs are one thing, but Nintendo will snipe anything from fan made games that are free to scans of a strategy guide from 1996. Tournaments for their games are no exception, as Nintendo has been strict about who can and can’t run tournaments for their games. This mostly applies to Super Smash Bros. Melee, one of the most passionate communities when it comes to their game. Tournament organizers have gone on record to discuss how difficult they were to open a dialogue with, but that seemed to be changing with Panda Global. That no longer seems to be the case.
In a short tweet accompanied by a lengthy open letter to Nintendo, the representatives of Smash World Tour announced that they would be shutting down and subsequently cancelling the next World Tour for 2023. Now, without reading the letter, it’s easy to put 100% of the blame on Nintendo. But, some should be shared with the CEOs of Panda Global as well. Despite the desire to run these tournaments, it would appear, according to the letter, that the heads of the company weren’t on board to begin with. Or at the very least, they were scared of what Nintendo was going to do. In the letter there’s a section that discusses the ongoing talks with Nintendo as well as Alan, Panda Global’s CEO, and his involvement in deterring organizers from hosting SWT events. I do encourage anyone invested in what happened to read the letter, by the way. It’s…an interesting read.
For those who want the TL;DR, Nintendo and Panda Global couldn’t seem to meet eye to eye on the Smash World Tour and it’s being shut down. Nintendo hasn’t even given an answer on why they didn’t grant the SWT a commercial license. They just didn’t. Though, it couldn’t be ignored that Alan’s involvement in all this was less than ideal. Telling other organizers that they either weren’t going to be there or they were only going to be there a year because they’d be shut down was a pretty shitty move. There are still questions that need to be answered, but it seems that the community at large is angry but not surprised. All they want now are answers, but given that this is Nintendo, it’s unlikely they’ll get anything beyond their stupid “brand confusion” answer. If we do hear anything though, we’ll be sure to talk about it.