Nintendo Releases Official Statement Regarding Smash World Tour Shutdown

Nintendo Releases Official Statement Regarding Smash World Tour Shutdown

Earlier this week, the organizers of the unofficial Super Smash Bros. competitive event Smash World Tour released a statement claiming that due to intervention from Nintendo, they would not be able to run their 2022 Championship tournament or continue to operating the event for the foreseeable future.

Since then, there have been multiple official statements from Nintendo regarding Smash World Tour’s claims. In their first short statement, Nintendo claimed that while they “were unable to come to an agreement with SWT for a full circuit in 2023”, they also “did not request any changes to or cancellation of remaining events in 2022, including the 2022 Championship event, considering the negative impact on the players who were already planning to participate”. This conflicts slightly with Smash World Tour’s initial claims, which stated that Nintendo denied them the ability to run the upcoming Championships and the 2023 tour:

Our Nintendo rep opened by letting us know that they are being asked to deliver the news that going forward, Nintendo expects us to only operate with a commercial license, and that we would not be granted one for the upcoming Championships, or any activity in 2023. We received this in writing as well.

Following this initial short statement, Nintendo released a lengthier full statement to IGN, which more clearly explains the company’s position on the matter, and insists that the cancellation of the 2022 Smash World Tour Championships was the choice of the organizers, and they had given them the go ahead to continue with the 2022 Championships, even if they would not receive a commercial license to do so. They also deny Smash World Tour’s claims that Nintendo’s official tournament partner Panda Global had a role in influencing the company’s decision to pull support from Smash World Tour.

Nintendo would like to explain to all Super Smash Bros. fans and interested parties the background and rationale related to our decision to not grant a license to the Smash World Tour (SWT) for their upcoming activities.

Nintendo’s decision was solely based on our assessment of the proposals submitted by the SWT and our evaluation of their unlicensed activities. This decision was not influenced by any external parties such as Panda Global. Any partner that we grant a license to has to meet the high standards we require when it comes to the health and safety of our fans. It’s also important that a partner adheres to brand and IP guidelines and conducts itself according to professional and organizational best practices. We use this same approach to independently assess all partners. If we discover that a partner is doing something inappropriate, we will work to correct it.

When we notified the SWT that we would not license their 2022 or 2023 activities, we also let them know verbally that we were not requiring they cancel the 2022 finals event because of the impact it would have on players. Thus, the decision to cancel the SWT 2022 was, and still is, their own choice.

We are open to partnering with other organizations and will continue to offer licenses for major tournaments outside of the Panda Cup. Panda Global will continue to be a key partner and we look forward to receiving proposals from other groups for tournament licenses. In the meantime, Panda continues to advocate on behalf of the Super Smash Bros. community, even to the point that Panda has advocated for other organizations and tournaments to work with Nintendo, such as The Big House and the organizers of the SWT to benefit the larger Super Smash Bros. community.

Nintendo cares about Super Smash Bros. fans and its community very much, and we hope to continue to hear their passionate feedback. We are committed to working hard to bring joy and fun to the community through tournaments while also ensuring we and our partners are operating in a manner that is positive and responsible.

Panda Global also released their own statement commenting on Smash World Tour’s claims, which you can find below:

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the situation seems a bit more complicated than what the initial claims suggested. Stay tuned for more updates should they become available.

What do you think? Let us know in the comments.