Brittany Gates

Reporting video games and tech news from an entrepreneur angle

Smash World Tour Cancelled Over Licensing

smash world tour cancelled
Smash World Tour events for 2022 and 2023 are cancelled and the organizers blame both Nintendo and their partner, Panda Global.

Bad news for Super Smash Bros. fans: The Smash World Tour will not happen due to licensing issues. This cancellation affects not only the 2022 tournament, but also the 2023 tournament. And this tour isn’t a small event. The prize pool was at least $250,000 USD. If the tournament were to happen, that prize pool would’ve been the largest in any Smash Bros. tournament. So what happened? The organizers wrote in their lengthy Medium post about the events leading up to the sudden cancellation and I’m hear to break it down.

The Cancellation Details About Smash World Tour

It appears the cancellation reason stems from Nintendo and their partner, Panda Global. Both do not want this tournament to happen. In 2021 Panda Global announced their partnership with Nintendo to host the official tournaments for both Smash Bros. Melee and Smash Bros. Ultimate. The events were to kick off in 2022, the same time period for the Smash World Tour.

The organizers of the event thought Nintendo would shut them down but to their surprise the company wanted to work with them. The organizers said in their post: “Nintendo reached out to us to let us know that they had been watching us build over the years, and wanted to see if we were interested in working with them and pursuing a license as well. They made it clear that Panda’s partnership was not exclusive, and they said it had ‘not gone unnoticed’ that we had not infringed on their IP regarding game modifications and had represented Nintendo’s values well. They made it clear that game modifications were their primary concern in regards to ‘coming down on events,’ which also made sense to us given their enforcement over the past few years in that regard.”

Panda Global Starts Trouble

However, Panda Global released their own comments about their competitor: “However, we quickly found that many organizers were concerned about joining up in 2022. They told us that they had been told by Alan, the CEO and co-founder of Panda, that we were going to get shut down and were not coming back in 2022.” Even though the organizers brought up these concerns with Nintendo, and the company stating they would talk to the Panda Global about their statements, the CEO continued to say the tournament wouldn’t happen in 2022. By the time the Panda Cup happened in May 2022, the organizers’s communication with Nintendo slowed.

After receiving no response from Nintendo for months, the organizers announced their tournament in August 2022. According the organizers “Nintendo finally responded and mentioned another event that had their team incredibly busy, which is why there were delays. They were very apologetic for the long silence and said they completely understood that we had to announce. They mentioned that discussions have been much slower than expected and that there had not been any decision yet. After continued delays in communication, we finally reconvened with Nintendo at the end of September, nearly four months after our submission.”

Then the day before Thanksgiving Nintendo tells the Smash World Tour organizers they would not give them a license to hold the tournament. And this happen one month before the tournament’s start date.

Why Did This Happen?

Looking at this from a business viewpoint I think Nintendo didn’t want another competitor competing against them. It appears the Smash World Tour has a better standing in the Smash Bros. community and that would pose trouble with Panda Global. It would have been better if Nintendo gave their ruling earlier in the year instead of waiting for so long. That way the organizers could have made other accommodations. However, Nintendo is a slow-moving company at times so I’m not surprised it took them several months just to tell these individuals no.

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[…] reported about the cancelled Smash World Tour tournament, and how Panda Global’s CEO continued to tell various individuals and/or sponsors […]

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