Mario Kart Tour Mario and Luigi racing
Nintendo has published strict new rules on community tournaments, putting caps on competitor numbers, ticket prices, banning game names in event titles and the sale of food or drink at physical events.
The list is drawn up for small scale tournaments that are not organised for commercial gain, and states that they must not include more than 200 participants a day when held IRL, or 300 for online events.
Participants in any tournament cannot be charged more than the equivalent of £18 / €20 per person, while spectors cannot be charged more than the equivalent of £14 / €15 per person. Money raised from spectator fees cannot be used for prize money, which is also capped at “a market value of £4,500 / €5,000,” according to Nintendo.
Organisers are not allowed to use the name of any Nintendo game when advertising the tournament, and selling food and drink to spectators at events is banned.
“The names of Community Tournaments may not contain Nintendo trademarks or IP, such as Nintendo’s company name, logo, product or service names such as game titles, names adopted from Nintendo games such as character names. This includes any shortened or modified uses of Nintendo trademarks or IP,” said Nintendo.
While caps on ticket sales are sensible, a more heavy-handed approach to tournaments and the protection of Nintendo’s intellectual property is unlikely to win any favor from those who organise community events.
Last year, the organiser of the 2022 Smash World Championships cancelled the event less than two weeks before it was scheduled to take place, claiming Nintendo had forced it to shut down. That very public spat harmed the reputation of Nintendo amongst the competitive community and pulled it into a dispute with SWC and esports competitor Panda, organisers of the Panda Cup.