A few days ago, it was announced that both the Smash World Tour Championships for 2022 and the entire 2023 Circuit were getting abruptly shut down after the organizers failed to obtain an official license and Nintendo stated that the event would be unable to run without one. While Nintendo put out a brief statement (followed by an SWT response) at the time, the company has put out a full-fledged release now.
Nintendo says the decision wasn’t influenced by Panda Global but instead their own assessment and evaluation of SWT.
“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. 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 company reiterates that Nintendo did not require the cancellation of the 2022 finals, and that SWT’s decision to do so was the organizer’s own choice. Nintendo confirms that it’s open to partnering with other organizations outside of Panda Global and vouches for the support and deeds of Panda, who in Nintendo’s account actually has pushed for other organizations to partner with Nintendo. The statement closes with Nintendo professing that it cares about the Smash community dearly, and is committed to working hard and listening to feedback.
There’s a lot to parse in the entire statement. The reasons given for not issuing a license are pretty vague and more suggestive than definitive. The implication seems to be that Smash World Tour was either lacking in health/safety standards (difficult to imagine what those would be, except for perhaps some basic COVID protocol), or conduct/professionalism (how? we don’t know). We can expect to see more responses and discourse on the issue, but at least the reason for the lack of licensing is now stated – if confusingly. We’ll be sure to report on any more updates going forward.
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