Nintendo’s strict new community tournament guidelines that limit participants, prizes, sponsorships and game modifications have angered gamers.
Among the new rules, posted Tuesday (UTC) on Nintendo’s Japan, UK and US websites, there is now a cap of 200 players for in-person tournaments and 300 for online events.
The events can’t be sponsored and organisers can’t sell food, drinks or merch at them, nor can they offer prizes worth more than $5000.
Online spectators can’t be charged a fee and the tournaments are not allowed to generate any commercial revenue.
Organisers must follow these rules to be classified as a small-scale event, which allows them to operate without an official licence from Nintendo, IGN reports. Large, for-profit events would require a licence.
Top Super Smash Bros. players expressed frustration at the changes in social media posts:
Reactions on social media suggest the new rules could cause shifts in tournament dynamics, including moving to underground venues, and there were also concerns about restrictions on third-party accessories for disabled gamers.
“We’re going underground buckos,” Redditor SabinSuplexington posted. “Back to the old days. Tournaments will be held in restaurant basements.”
Other players posted about fears the changes would kill off the unofficial tournament scene.
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