Actually, Nintendo Wanted Smash Bros. Out Of EVO Tourney Entirely, Which Is Really Stupid
from the you're-a-sport-now dept
The other day, Tim Cushing wrote about Nintendo’s odd move of pulling its fighting title Smash Bros. from the internet stream of the Evolution Championship Series, before then walking back the request and allowing it after all. In that post, he noted that Nintendo appeared to be concerned, wrongly, that a stream of its game being played would somehow harm its brand, and that it was fan reaction to the move that caused its flip-flop. That all may indeed be true, but it turns out it wasn’t the whole story.
The news now is that Nintendo wasn’t just seeking to shut down the stream, but the entire Smash Bros. portion of the tournament.
Evo co-founder Joey Cuellar has revealed that Nintendo didn’t just want to stop Smash Bros. Melee being streamed from this year’s fighting game competition, they wanted to stop that part of the tournament taking place altogether.
“They were not only trying to shut down the stream”, he told OneMoreGameTV, “they were trying to shut down the event, the Smash portion of the event”.
That is even more insane. It isn’t often you can take any real life lessons from the world of professional sports, but Nintendo might as well realize something: it’s in the professional sports business now. Tangentially, sure, but it’s in it. EVO is but one example of professional gaming competitions. The trends seem to suggest that the world of pro-gaming competitions, leagues, and tournaments is only going to grow, perhaps even exponentially. And if that trend does indeed play out, Nintendo better take a page from professional sports leagues and encourage the playing of its games, rather than trying to shut it all down.
There’s a reason why Major League Baseball puts such an emphasis on building baseball fields throughout the country. The NFL knows what they’re doing when they make sure they have a stake in Pop Warner football. The NBA has its players going not only around the country, but around the world to host basketball clinics. More people playing your game is good for your game. Good for breeding better players, for growing markets, and good for generating interest generally in the game itself.
If Nintendo was smart, it might consider market-testing its own gaming “stadiums” or competition centers, building upon the interest to promote its own games and encouraging others to do likewise. Trying to shut down the tournament? That’s just stupid.