Nintendo Implements Strict New Rules For Fan Tournaments

Nintendo has released a set of strict new rules for fans looking to organize small tournaments around its games, which the new guidelines describe as ” Community Tournaments.” The guidelines set strict rules around the number of competitors allowed, limit how many events can be charged for entry, and set detailed restrictions on how personal events can be run.

Eurogamer reports that the guidelines were first posted by Nintendo in Japan before a similar post appeared on Nintendo’s European website. Nintendo of America now has its own version of the guidelines, and it is likely that they will also be used in many other regions around the world.

The new rules specify that a Community Tournament can include only 200 participants, or 300 if the tournament is held online. Tournament organizers are not allowed to charge players more than $20 for participating in an event, and any money raised can only be used for the cost of the event and prizes. Spectator tickets cannot be priced higher than $15 and can only be used to raise money for event expenses, not prize money. There is also a prize money cap–individual prizes are limited to $5000 each, with a total cap of $10,000 per organizer in a 12-month period.

The long post also includes a list of guidelines for Community Tournaments participants and spectators to be aware of, and an extensive FAQ that covers some of the other stipulations Nintendo has in place for small tournaments. For example, events are prohibited from selling food, beverages, or merchandise if they wish under the Community Tournament guidelines, and cannot pay the fees or expenses of any participating players.

As well as those highlighted above, there are many other rules that tournament organizers must follow, with specific guidelines also drawn up for school tournaments and other community groups. If the organizers plan a tournament outside of these guidelines, they must apply to Nintendo for a license to use Nintendo games in their event.

The new guidelines take effect on November 15, 2023, and are likely to be unpopular with the competition. Community relations with Nintendo have been strained, after the popular Smash World Tour was shut down last year just days from the Championship.

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