Organizers of the Smash World Tour have announced via Medium that one of the biggest live events in the e-sports and fighting game scene is coming to an end. The Smash World Tour Team stated that, the night before Thanksgiving, Nintendo contacted the group and told them “[they] could no longer operate” due to the lack of an official license.
The organizers state that the Smash World Tour has hosted 6,400 events with 325,000 attendees across the world. The Smash World Tour Championships for 2022 “would have had the largest prize pool in Smash history at over $250,000,” with a planned prize pool of $350,000 in 2023.
This reported shutdown, which Nintendo gave “without any warning,” has caused a multitude of financial troubles for the Team, other organizers, players, and fans, who had contracts, sponsor obligations, bookings, and other plans orchestrated around these events. The Smash World Tour Team stated that they will lose hundreds of thousands of dollars due to this decision.
Nintendo’s statement also came as a surprise to the Smash World Tour team. Allegedly, Nintendo’s legal representations to the Team in the past have included interest in collaborating with the Team through the procurement of a licensing agreement. The Team also claims that Nintendo had remarked positively to the Smash World Tour, commenting on the Tour’s non-infringement of Nintendo’s IP via the Tour’s lack of game modifications. The Smash World Tour, in Nintendo’s eyes, was apparently a good representation of Nintendo’s values. Reportedly, Nintendo stated the primary reason it would “com[e] down on events” was an event’s usage of game modifications, which the Smash World Tour had avoided.
The Team announced that, in light of this decision, all attendees will be issued full refunds.