Nintendo has issued strict new guidelines for its smaller competitive tournament scene, outlining exactly what it will allow — placing caps on everything from competitor numbers to ticket prices — before organizers have to apply for an official license from the company.
As detailed in his book New Community Championship Guidelines – which was initially published by Nintendo of Japan before appearing in a locally modified form on the European Nintendo website earlier today – the tournaments will be allowed to continue without a license after November 15 of this year, provided they are “on a small scale and not for commercial profit.” .
More specifically, these very limited events — which Nintendo calls “community tournaments” — may have no more than 200 participants per day when held in person, increasing to 300 participants per day for online tournaments. In addition, funds raised through spectator tickets and entry fees, a maximum of £18/€20 and £14/€15 per person respectively, must not exceed the costs of organizing the tournament and collecting the prize money – although the prize money (Limited to a total of £4,500/€5,000) from spectator ticket sales.
There are a lot of restrictions where those restrictions came from; Nintendo explicitly prohibits the sale of food and drink in places where spectators are present, for example, while tournaments may not use the name of a Nintendo game in their title (although use is permitted for accompanying event descriptions), and schools can only host a licensed community tournament. Free, provided that it is not open to the public and is held between at least two schools.
A host of additional conditions are outlined in the accompanying FAQ, none of which are likely to fill tournament organizers with much confidence in Nintendo. The company has, of course, had an increasingly tense relationship with the competitive tournament scene of late, which was wrapped up in a messy, high-profile fallout with the organizers of the hugely popular (but unsanctioned) Smash World Tour last year.
Last December, Smash World Tour organizers announced they were halting the 2022 tournament finale after claiming they “received notice the night before Thanksgiving from Nintendo that we could no longer operate.” Nintendo refuted the allegations in a later statement, saying it had informed organizers that it would not request the cancellation of the 2022 tournament finals “due to the impact it may have on players,” but admitted it would not grant a license to Smash. World Tour activities for 2022 or 2023. Tournaments have not gone ahead.
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