Nintendo’s fractious relationship with Smash World Tours (SWT) came to an abrupt end earlier in the week when the video game company announced that they’ll be shutting down the SWT operation. This came as a shock to those responsible for organizing SWT, as well as its fans. The cease and desist letter was sent without warning, which added to the shock. It wasn’t the biggest surprise that the two were no longer partnering, but the nature of the announcement has raised a lot of questions.
Nintendo Will Be Partnering With Panda Global Instead
Anyone who had closely been following this story might have been able to connect the dots. Nintendo had just a little over a week ago decided to partner with Panda Global to run a North American Championship Circuit. This also was a bit of a shock at the time because Nintendo had, up until that point, always been quite negligent and even hostile towards events of the kind with a few exceptions. In fact, one of those exceptions came last year when SWT helped organize the Panda Cup in 2021.
When SWT organizers sent their proposal for the Panda Cup in 2021, they were expecting an outright refusal, but Nintendo seemed to have surprisingly warmed to the idea, and gave it a go-ahead. It looked like the two had finally found some common ground after years of tension.
SWT organizers even revealed that there were numbers to prove that SWT was one of the largest esports tour in history, and that this change in position from Nintendo might have come due to this. It seems like the bridges between Nintendo and the SWT organizers had burned a while back, and Nintendo only seemed to warm to the Panda Cup in 2021 because of Panda Global’s involvement in the whole process. SWT will feel like this is a real stab in the back, but they aren’t going to be the only stakeholders to feel that way.
Fans And Organizers Extremely Disappointed
SWT fans looked despondent when the news made the rounds, and it could take a while for fans to reconcile themselves with Nintendo. There are so many players and people involved in organizing these events as well, and to make such a final decision in such an abrupt manner shows a real lack of integrity.
It’ll take a while before Nintendo can earn back some of the goodwill that they’ve raised over the years. Aiden Calvin, who was one of the chief SWT organizers looked devastated when the news came out. He promised that he’ll continue to support the grassroots locals and majors, but will never promote a publicly licensed Panda Global and Nintendo event going forward.
“They have done absolutely nothing substantial to help the community at any point. This community is built on the backs of those who have offered their love, free time, and dollars for over a decade,” he declared regarding Nintendo.
He also had some choice words for Panda. “It is now abundantly clear that Panda is simply a means to the end of controlling the scene, choking our last drops of independence from us as a community,” he said. There were many on forums like Twitter who shared this sentiment.
Nintendo’s Side Of The Story
Nintendo were bound to defend themselves, and claimed that they’d not cancelled any events in 2022 despite the negative impact on players who were planning on participating in these events – and that SWT had not met the health & safety guidelines. Nintendo didn’t reveal what the negative impact was.
The SWT organizers have responded to Nintendo’s statement, and alluded to knowing that Nintendo never really got along with them, which is why they’d constantly communicated with them, and had requested to run the tours without a license.
According to the SWT organizers, Nintendo had suggested that the days where it looked like the tour might get shut down were over. That’s certainly not how things have turned out. It remains to be seen what kind of reception the event hosted by Nintendo and Panda is going to get going forward, and if other Super Smash Bros fans will take a strong stand against this.