Nintendo’s New Contest Rules Harming Community Events


Almost everyone you meet has an idea of what Nintendo is or has played a game by it at one point in their life. Be it the console or the game, both have been a part of many lives. For the longest time, the games by Nintendo have been a source of competition amongst families and friends. Many millennials say that the first game they ever played revolved around Mario and others.

Super Smash Bros, a fighting game that is a crossover series by Nintendo has seen ultimate success with time and is played globally in different types of tournaments as well. Recently, the Japanese company announced new rules for the game which might be threatening to contest but Nintendo says they only intend to make things simple.

Super Smash Bros

Previously, the contests were of every size; inter-school, inter-university, and even international tournaments which had huge cash prizes. With the new rules in place, the threat is more on small events. The profit of these tournaments is directly impacted by these new rules, as sponsorships are being forbidden, maximum prize money is limited to $5,000, and food/drinks can’t be sold at the tournaments. This is highly likely to ban the majority of contents in their current form.

Not that tournaments will shut down completely if they don’t meet the said guidelines, but they will be required to get exceptional licenses from the Japanese gaming giant. As per BBC Newsbeat, a gamer Hugh says that this impacts not just his participation in contests but also his social circle as he made friends through UK Smash Bros, especially during the COVID-19 lockdown, and that, “it’s a real social centre, a really lovely community. “When I talk about why I go quite often, I say it’s basically the same as going out for drinks after work, but you also have an activity to do with friends you really like.”

Albion Games Café, Norwich, owned by Tom Scott (G-P) initiated with Smash Bros by holding local events and competitions which drew thousands of participants to his café which also includes a big chunk of players with autism. Tom reflects on his good relationship with Nintendo emphasizing the equipment he got on loan was from the company for supporting his events. He believes that the company will strike a balance when enforcing new rules and that there will be a variation between the rules set by the bosses in Japan versus the local affiliate bosses controlling them.

Evidently, the policing of the new rules will be done on a bigger scale as it is relatively difficult to supervise them on a smaller scale for example amongst friends, households, etc. Fans on Reddit claim that the new guidelines are ‘over the top, unrealistic and vaguely threatening’. These rules limit the community from even enjoying amongst each other.

These new rules surely give more control over tournaments to Nintendo. As per Tom, these new rules will let Nintendo ban any events that may harm the brand or go against any compliance guidelines. However, it may create hesitancy for several tournament organizers like Tom. But considering the long-term relationship and the community built by the game, Tom is hopeful that the rules set by the Japanese gaming giant will not suppress small business owners like himself.

In a statement, a spokesperson told Newsbeat;

“We have released these guidelines to clarify the types of game tournaments that our customers can organize without having to confirm with us individually so that they can hold game tournaments with peace of mind and also so that participants and spectators can participate in game tournaments with peace of mind.”

As of now, there aren’t any clear responses to questions from Nintendo about the new rules, and on clarifying rules around food and drink in venues such as cafes, and pubs.


  • Abida Muqeem

    Abida may not be a gaming or tech guru, but always down for a nerdy convo! She's played games like FIFA, Mortal Combat, PUB-G and is a sucker for story-mode games. Currently dreaming of Hogwarts Legacy which she will finish right after she purchases a PS5 with the money from this writing gig.

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