Nintendo shocks competitive fans with strict new community tournament guidelines

Update, October 24th: Nintendo of America has now added the guidelines to its website, following the UK and Japanese websites. The prize cap is $5,000 as per the guidelines on the US website.

Original story below:

Previous story: Nintendo caused a stir among its competitive fanbase today when it announced new guidelines for regulating community tournaments.

The guidelines published on both Nintendo’s Japan and United Kingdom Websites on Tuesday dictated the terms and conditions for “non-profit, small community tournaments (community tournaments) featuring games for which Nintendo owns the copyright.” In short, these guidelines define the conditions that organizers must follow to be considered a small event, so they can take place without an official license from Nintendo.

Some of the highlights:

  • Community tournaments “may not generate commercial revenue except as permitted by these guidelines.”
  • A cap of 200 participants on site or 300 for online tournaments
  • Organizers may not receive compensation from third-party sponsors and may not sell food, beverages or merchandise
  • No prizes exceeding a total market value of £4,500 / €5,000
  • No spectator fees for online tournaments
  • Organizers “must promptly publicly disclose all billings related to the costs of hosting the event.”

What causes even more confusion is that at press time the guidelines have only been posted on Nintendo’s UK and Japanese websites and X/Twitter accounts, meaning they likely only apply to those regions at this time. IGN has reached out to Nintendo of America to see if this region will follow suit.

The community reacts

Of course, organizers can still host larger, for-profit tournaments, but that would require a license from Nintendo. As pointed out on social media shortly after the announcement, this means that larger tournaments that have already received licenses are likely to be in play.

Still, the immediate reaction highlights the ongoing, complicated issues between Nintendo and its competitive community, particularly between Super Smash Bros. Even licensed tournaments, like the Smash World Tour Championships, which were canceled last yearwere faced with extensive problems.

Melee pro Ax wrote on my life,” Ax added.

“We’re going underground.” wrote one Redditor. “Back to the old days. The tournaments will be held in restaurant basements, entry is cash only and Project M will be there.”

“What everyone feared happened” wrote another one.

Other reactions, meanwhile, expressed concerns about the 200-person cap for in-person tournaments.

And another serious issue was raised by streamer Arevya on As she points out, this would exclude third-party accessories used to make tournaments more accessible to players with disabilities.

While much of the Smash community is shocked, some have pointed out that the guidelines aren’t all that different from those of other professionally licensed esports. Others, however, have noted past controversies that may have led to Nintendo attempting to exert more control over tournaments involving its games.

Regardless, it’s another significant update in the long-standing divide between Nintendo and its rival community.

Alex Stedman is a senior news editor at IGN and leads entertainment coverage. When she’s not writing or editing, she reads fantasy novels or plays Dungeons & Dragons.

Chrissy Callahan

Chrissy Callahan is a Worldtimetodays U.S. News Reporter based in Canada. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Chrissy Callahan joined Worldtimetodays in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing:

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