Published on July 9th, 2013 | by David Arce2
Streaming of Smash Bros. Melee at EVO almost shut down by Nintendo of America
Nintendo of America almost did it again. You would think that after all their various PR missteps these past few years that they would have learned their lessons by now. Well, it looks like they did — though it took the cries of thousands of fans in unison to do it.
In a post on fighting games enthusiast website, Shoryuken, it was revealed that the organizers of EVO received word from Nintendo of America stating that they would not be allowed to stream the Super Smash Bros. Melee tournament. As a result, not only did EVO have to reschedule all their streaming events, but they also had to reschedule certain tournaments to accommodate the last-minute shift. Naturally, this caused a huge backlash within the fighting game community and gaming community at large. They were angered that Nintendo would sabotage one of the most anticipated tournaments of EVO 2013. Then, a few hours later, Shoryuken gave an update stating that Nintendo will allow them to stream the Super Smash Bros. Melee tournament. So, that resolved rather quickly.
It shouldn’t be too surprising that Nintendo had decided to do something about one of their video games being shown on the internet. Two months ago, it was revealed that Nintendo would be claiming portions of ad revenue generated by YouTube Let’s Players using any footage from their video games. Therefore, a backlash erupted as Let’s Players were not happy that Nintendo wanted making money off of their work while doing nothing. Those targeted with ad revenue claims threatened to remove any Nintendo related videos from their YouTube channels and simply not record themselves playing any Nintendo related games. Realizing that they were threatening the incomes of many gamers — most of whom were huge fans — and racking up a ton of negative PR, Nintendo decided to reverse their decisions a month later, much like they did here, only in a remarkably shorter time frame.
What would’ve added insult to injury is that the big push by Melee fans to get the game its own tournament at EVO would have been mostly for naught. The timeless fighting game had won the final spot to get its tournament by raising the most money in the EVO charity drive. It had racked up $94,683 of the total $225,744 for the charity drive which will all go towards breast cancer research. Nintendo nearly slapped this effort in the face.
It might not be apparant to Nintendo of America, but they nearly killed the free promotion that the Smash Bros. brand was going to receive from the tournament being streamed to millions of viewers. It was a pretty stupid move when you consider that with every single other game that’s getting a tournament, their developer/publisher don’t seem to mind the streamings at all. Hell, even Warner Bros. and NetherRealm Studios are going to show off the new DLC for their recently released fighting game, Injustice: Gods Among Us, at EVO.
It’s puzzling as to why Nintendo of America initially called for EVO to not stream the game. Was it a rogue employee from their legal department getting a little too trigger happy? Or did Nintendo of America really believe it was the right choice, only to do a 180 once they saw their e-mail/Twitter feed on fire? While I’m concerned that Nintendo still had the capacity to make this sort of position, I’m relieved that they also have the guts to realize their mistake and change their minds. Now who’s ready for some good old “Fox only, Final Destination, no items” action?