Nintendo Is Implementing Restrictive New Rules For Fan Tournaments

Nintendo has released a set of strict new rules for fans looking to organise small-scale tournaments around its games, which are defined in the new guidelines as “Community Tournaments.” The guidelines set strict rules around the number of competitors allowed, limit how much events can charge for entry, and set detailed restrictions on how in-person events can be run.

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

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

The lengthy post also includes a list of guidelines for participants and spectators at Community Tournaments to be aware of, and an extensive FAQ that hides a few other stipulations Nintendo has for small-scale tournaments. For example, events are prohibited from selling food, beverages, or merchandise if they want to come under the Community Tournament guidelines, and also cannot pay fees or expenses to any participating players.

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As well as those highlighted above, there are plenty of other rules tournament organizers will have to adhere to, with specific guidelines also laid out for school tournaments and other community groups. If organizers are planning a tournament that falls outside these guidelines, they’ll have to apply to Nintendo for a license to use Nintendo’s games in their event.

The new guidelines come into effect on November 15, 2023, and are unlikely to be popular with the competitive scene. The community’s relationship with Nintendo is already tense, after the popular Smash World Tour was shut down last year just days out from the Championship.

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