Nintendo did not force organizers of the Smash Wold Tour 2022 Finals to cancel the event despite the video game giant's refusal to grant licensing to the tournament's organizers, an official statement from Nintendo has claimed. The company issued the statement following the news of the tournament's shutdown, as pointed out by IGN. Rather, the official statement indicates that, in the interest of the players, company representatives had told the organizers that they could proceed with the finals.
"When we notified the SWT that we would not license their 2022 or 2023 activities, we also let them know verbally that we were not requiring they cancel the 2022 finals event because of the impact it would have on players," the release states. "Thus, the decision to cancel the SWT 2022 was, and still is, their own choice."
News of the tournament finals' cancelation upset many fans of the brawler series earlier this week, when the organizers had released their own announcement claiming that the organization "could no longer operate" due to licensing issues with Nintendo. The tournament, which had been scheduled to run from December 9-11, was shaping up to be the largest in the organization's history, carrying with it a $250,000 prize pool. In their official announcement, the organizers claimed they had made multiple requests for communication with Nintendo and accused Nintendo of refusing to meet those requests.
Also in their statement earlier in the week, the tournament organizers accused Nintendo of establishing exclusivity with SWT competitor Panda Global and its Panda Cup events. Nintendo's statement denies that the company's decision to cease licensing of SWT is based on relationships with any outside organizations, including Panda. "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," Nintendo's release states. "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."
As far as the exclusivity claim, Nintendo is denying that as well, saying that, while Panda Global is a "key partner," Nintendo will continue to offer licenses to other organizations that meet its standards. The release even points out that Panda Global has recommended other outside organizations for partnership with Nintendo, specifically making note of The Big House, a Smash Bros. tournament that has been held annually in Michigan since 2011.
Related Forum: Gaming Discussion