Days after news that Smash World Tour [SWT] would be canceling its final 2022 championship and 2023 tour, Nintendo has offered a lengthy statement over the decision to not offer SWT a license to host Smash Bros. events.
In a statement to IGN, Nintendo said that its “decision was solely based on our assessment of the proposals submitted by the SWT and our evaluation of their unlicensed activities.” Nintendo added that “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,” Nintendo writes. “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.”
The upcoming Smash World Tour Championships and the entirety of the 2023 Smash World Tour must be cancelled.
— Smash World Tour 2022 (@SmashWorldTour) November 29, 2022
Earlier this week, organizers of the Smash World Tour, one of the largest third-party Super Smash Bros. fighting game tournaments, announced that it will cancel its final event of the year as well as its 2023 events after Nintendo declined to issue them a license to carry on Smash Bros. fighting tournament events.
The organizers of SWT published a lengthy Medium post regretting the events, claiming that “without any warning” it was told it could no longer operate. Organizers also revealed that it was in negotiations with Nintendo to receive a license to operate Smash Bros. tournaments and that Nintendo even noted how SWT did not infringe on their IP.
However, this point is seemingly disputed by Nintendo’s statement which implies any partner must adhere to “brand and IP guidelines” set by the company.
Nintendo also reiterated that it “verbally” let the organizers of SWT know that it was not asking to cancel the 2022 finals “because of the impact it would have on players,” and saying that “the decision to cancel the SWT 2022 was, and still is, their own choice.”
Organizers of SWT say that it will offer full refunds to attendees of its now-canceled 2022 event.
The SWT organizers also accused one of Nintendo’s Smash Bros. partners, Panda Global, the organizers of the Panda Cup Smash Bros. tournament, of sabotage claiming that its founder Alan Bunney was telling potential organizers that SWT would be getting shut down, thereby making any potential SWT partners have second-thoughts of joining up with the Smash World Tour.
Nintendo says its decision “was not influenced by any external parties such as Panda Global,” and that the company is “open to partnering with other organizations and will continue to offer licenses for major tournaments outside of the Panda Cup.” While Panda Global will remain a partner with Nintendo on Smash Bros. the company says that it “look[s] forward to receiving proposals from other groups for tournament licenses.”
You can read Nintendo’s full statement below.
Matt T.M. Kim is IGN’s News Editor. You can reach him @lawoftd.