Nintendo of America has recently released guidelines for community tournaments, following in the footsteps of its U.K. and Japan websites. However, this has caused quite a stir among the competitive gaming community. The guidelines are aimed at regulating "not-for-profit, small-scale community tournaments" that feature games owned by Nintendo.
These guidelines define the terms that organizers must adhere to in order to qualify as small-scale events that can function without an official license from Nintendo. It is essential to note that the guidelines have only been shared on Nintendo's U.K. and Japan websites and social media accounts, leaving their application uncertain in other regions.
While the guidelines do allow for-profit tournaments, they require a license from Nintendo. The announcement has raised concerns among competitive Super Smash Bros. players, who have already faced extensive issues with licensed tournaments. Many feel that the guidelines do not apply to the majority of competitive Smash/Splatoon tournaments and have expressed worries about the implications for the future of the community and events.
One issue raised is the 200-person cap for in-person tournaments, which has garnered criticism. Additionally, streamer Arevya highlighted the restrictions on third-party accessories that some disabled gamers rely on to make tournaments accessible. This has sparked concerns about excluding individuals who require accessibility modifications to play games like everyone else.
While some argue that the guidelines are not drastically different from those in other esports, others speculate that previous controversies may have prompted Nintendo's desire for more control. The impact of these guidelines remains to be seen, and it will be essential to observe any changes and simplifications to the licensing process before reaching a conclusion.
Ultimately, these guidelines mark a significant development in the relationship between Nintendo and its competitive community, stirring debates and concerns among players and organizers alike. As the community braces for the potential consequences, the hope remains that the guidelines can lead to a more organized and professional gaming space, provided they are implemented correctly.