YouTube content creator Ludwig says he is being "sued" by Nintendo. The Twitch streamer, YouTube personality, and eSports commentator made headlines when he decided to host his own Super Smash Bros. tournaments after the official Smash World Tour was canceled due to licensing issues. Ludwig's tournament has since become a recurring event where the community gets together to play the latest installment in Nintendo's popular fighting game franchise, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, as well as the series' still-popular GameCube version, Super Smash Bros. Melee.
On the other hand, Nintendo is a notoriously litigious company that closely monitors its popular IP. The Japanese gaming giant is generally strict when it comes to copyright law both in the live event space as well as the area of content creation. Just recently, Nintendo unveiled new guidelines for creators that cover monetization, promotional materials, and restrictions on image and video-sharing activities among other topics. Now it appears the company is going after one of the biggest gaming content creators out there.
In a recent YouTube video, Ludwig claimed that he is being "sued" by Nintendo. He quickly clarified his comment, stating he received a "notice of infringement of intellectual property," which he described as a "baby cease and desist." According to Ludwig, the reason for the notice is a modified Super Smash Bros. Melee stage. Confusingly, however, Ludwig claims his tournament didn't use the modified stage. He doesn't go into too much detail on the subject, but rather, he uses this point to launch into a conversation about Nintendo's strict new guidelines for community tournaments.
Ludwig continues to go through the various guidelines point by point in his video, covering topics from the size of the tournaments to how much prize money can be awarded. Many of the new restrictions seem to affect bigger tournament organizers like Ludwig. Larger-scale events require a license from Nintendo, which is the stated issue that shut down the Smash World Tour.
The competitive gaming community at large has not been receptive to Nintendo's new guidelines as various restrictions could keep some fans from participating altogether. One issue, in particular, that will likely need to be addressed is that Nintendo requires tournaments to use officially licensed accessories. This could serve as quite the hurdle for gamers with disabilities who need third-party add-ons to compete.
Nintendo's protectiveness over its IP is likely the impetus behind these regulations. An unfortunate incident at a Nintendo-sanctioned tournament could be a PR nightmare and negatively affect the brand. While Nintendo's desire to protect its reputation is understandable, many in the competitive community would argue that the company might be overstepping a bit. The two sides might be opposing, but hopefully, Nintendo and its fans can come together to create fun events for the community at large.
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