Not a Good Look for Nintendo
Nintendo has often been known as a company that tends to stay out of the competitive scene and let it’s community just do it’s thing. Unfortunately, that looks like it will no longer be the case. After some pretty heavy allegations against several streamers, commentators and execs, Super Smash Bros erupted.
The community was falling apart and several people swore off the game and cancelled events in wake of all the accusations. Then, out of nowhere, Nintendo started to actually respond which is an extremely rare move from the company.
In a statement made to the popular gaming platform, IGN, Nintendo said this:
“At Nintendo, we are deeply disturbed by the allegations raised against certain members of the competitive gaming community. They are absolutely impermissible. We want to make it clear that we condemn all acts of violence, harassment, and exploitation against anyone and that we stand with the victims.”
Nintendo is historically stingy
So why is this such a rare and strange thing to see from the company? Because in the past, Nintendo has never really supported any part of the Super Smash Bros fighting scene. Whether competitive or amateur, Nintendo has never taken part or really answered any fan complaints about it.
Concerns are running rampant that Nintendo is going to take drastic measures as they have in the past. When concerning third parties using their games as well as content creation and events, Nintendo is historically stingy. Choosing to overreact instead of negotiate.
Case in point, the popular fighting event Evo back in 2013 learned about this firtshand. When the Super Smash Bros community managed to get Melee into the roster, Nintendo came down hard.
Even though Evo wasn’t officially partnered with anyone, most gaming developers didn’t mind. Developers like NetherRealm, who created the recent Mortal Kombat games or even Bandai Namco just let them have fun. When Melee was a potential entry into the roster lineup, Nintendo wanted absolutely no part of it.
They started by trying to get Super Smash Bros removed from the roster altogether. Threatening various streamers and platforms to not show footage of it, if they couldn’t get Evo to remove the game. Lo and behold, Evo refused to take the game out of the lineup and Nintendo threw a fit.
Evo event went forward and was a big success
Instead of threatening Evo they turned their attention to individual members of the community. Telling them not to stream or record any footage of Super Smash Bros at the Evo event or they would take copyright action against them.
Despite all of Nintendo’s chest puffing and outcry, the Evo event went forward and was a big success. Even though this was nearly a decade ago, it forever changed the landscape between Nintendo and their community.
And yet, a couple years later in 2015, Nintendo seemed to have a slight change of heart when they began sponsoring official tournaments. Yet, several community members noted that Nintendo simply set up booths and kiosks. Which was a far cry from the heavier support that other fight game developers put into the events.
One member of the community, Korsak, elaborated on what this meant.
“By being a Nintendo sponsored event we didn’t really get much, but instead had to abide by certain restrictions by them such as — not playing third-party modified games such as Project M at events, not using other game modifications like 20XX, broadcast restrictions with certain licensed music tracks, and more.”
Nowadays, with so many allegations coming in against Super Smash Bros players, Nintendo is in a tough position. Sure, they spoke up and put themselves against the toxicity and sexual misconduct, but it might be too late.
After years of silence and spiteful condemnation towards the community, they may have permanently damaged their reputation beyond repair. At least as far as the community is concerned, it’s too little too late for Nintendo to back in their good graces.