News Article

Nintendo Denies Permission For a Live Stream of Super Smash Bros. Melee At EVO 2013

Posted by Orla Madden

*UPDATE* Stream is back on

UPDATE: In a strangely prompt turn of events, it looks like Nintendo has reversed its decision to block the stream. What an eventful evening.

ORIGINAL STORY BELOW

Back in January this year, we reported that Super Smash Bros. Melee was a firm favourite to be the eighth title at EVO 2013 in Las Vegas this month.

If fans wanted to see the game smash its way to the event, all they had to do was support it by donating some cash towards the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Super Smash Bros. Melee came out on top, raising almost $95,000; and was on its way to the fighting game tournament.

However, in a controversial move which has angered quite a number of fans, Shoryuken has reported that Nintendo of America has refused permission for the game to be broadcast in the stream schedule this weekend. In its place will be Persona 4 Arena and King of Fighters XIII.

It's unknown why Nintendo denied permission for the live streaming of the game, though it may have something to do with the company putting a stop to Youtube users monetizing 'Let's Play' videos. In saying that, it did perform a slight U-turn on the topic; for now at least.

We've reached out to Nintendo for comment, and will post updates as and when we receive them.

[via evo.shoryuken.com]

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User Comments (90)

Inev

#1

Inev said:

Did Nintendo pull the rights away at the last second, or did EVO not bother to check if they had the rights until just recently? It sounds like the latter to me.

The charity still got the money, right? That's more important than whether a video game tournament can play a specific game.

EarthboundBenjy

#2

EarthboundBenjy said:

Smash Bros is already seen in a bad light in the eyes of fighting game enthusiasts, and this isn't helping.
This isn't doing anything to help anyone, really. Smash Bros 4 on Wii U / 3DS is gonna sell a bazillion copies regardless of whatever Nintendo are trying to prevent here. Nintendo are just gonna get themselves some more hate directed toward them.

LordGeovanni

#4

LordGeovanni said:

Seems odd, however I side with Nintendo. There must be a reason why they said no and it is probably a legal reason. There are actual laws concerning what kinds of products can be used for charity purposes. Nintendo probably just didn't want the headache. More than likely, Nintendo will probably donate matching amount to the same charity in an anon manner...

MadAdam81

#5

MadAdam81 said:

@Inev surely they never asked until they had all the money - not the most professional way of doing business at all.

HaNks

#6

HaNks said:

free publicity? no thanks. you can't even buy that kind of exposure to the enthusiast audience. factor in the fact there is a sequel coming next year, wii U is struggling and fans did a charity drive to get the game up there...just crazy. nintendo are so backwards it's unbelievable.

nilcam

#7

nilcam said:

It's a really dumb move for Nintendo. As a designer, I work with a lot of copyright issues and I still cannot fathom how streaming a game is not fair usage.

Colors

#9

Colors said:

@LordGeovanni No, there's no laws regarding fighting games and charity or whatever. The obvious reason Nintendo did this was because they just don't want Smash Bros. to ever be viewed in a competitive light. That's why they removed and added anything they could to Brawl to keep it from being tournament-worthy (tripping, no combos, etc.). Not to mention that by keeping streams of the tournament happening, Nintendo is missing out on a lot of publicity with a new Smash Bros. game coming soon. They're not doing this to help anyone at all, it's just because they don't want it to happen. Despite the fans raising $90k+ for charity so that it could be enjoyed.

People need to understand that not everything Nintendo does is to save the lives of puppies and put orphan babies in good homes. This really shows Nintendo isn't any better at interacting with fans than any other big company, like EA and Ubisoft. This was more or less the final straw for me, they had no reason to ban streaming other than selfishness.

HaNks

#11

HaNks said:

@LordGeovanni nice try, but this kind of thing could easily be allowed to happen and has for many other games from various companies for years now. then you suggest they are going to donate the equivalent amount to charity themselves. based on what? definitely the worst kind of apologist that pops up on this site...

King47

#12

King47 said:

Well, considering how Nintendo puts no effort in advertising the Wii U or 3DS, it isn't very surprising that they would turn down free publicity. As @HaNks said, with the new game coming out, it makes less sense for them to do so.

I understand Nintendo wants to be protective over its franchises and rights, but I don't think they should shut the fan community to do so. I can't see any benefit from Nintendo in doing this.

My guess, however, is that EVO contacted Nintendo of America and they denied it because the person who works there might've not known what EVO is. They probably didn't study it thoroughly. But it's Nintendo we're talking about, they have been doing lots of, dare I say, stupid things lately.

theblackdragonAdmin

#13

theblackdragon said:

Why is this suddenly Nintendo's fault that these guys didn't get the proper permission beforehand? Just because you raise a bunch of money for a good cause does not give you carte blanche to do as you please with someone else's property and promising things you have no right to promise.

NINTENBOY

#14

NINTENBOY said:

GOOD JOB Nintendo :D You've been really making alot of SMART decisions lately. I'd LOVE to see anyone defend this, I bet this is how the conversation went down.

Hey Nintendo can we live stream Smash Bros Melee you know that game that's like 10 YEARS OLD!! Because we had a fond raiser for A GOOD CAUSE where YOUR FANS donated alot of money to make it happen. So is it ok if......

NO NO ABSOLUTLY NOT SHUT IT DOWN!! WHAT THERE'S ACTUALLY FANS OF THIS GAME AND THIS IS FOR CANCER........WELL TO BAD HIPPEE!! WE DON'T GIVE NO HANDOUTS HERE!! PATUWEE I SPITE IN YOUR FACE FOR EVEN ASKING ME THAT!!

Knux

#15

Knux said:

Keep stomping on your fans Nintendo, and see where it gets you...

Colors

#16

Colors said:

@theblackdragon Because there's very little reason for Nintendo to prevent streaming of Smash Bros. And EVO didn't make the promise that it would be streamed if Smash Bros. raised the most money for charity, just that it would be played at the tournament. The banning of streaming on Nintendo's part is just a kick in the throat of fans who can't attend EVO.

CrazyOtto

#17

CrazyOtto said:

I was kidding when I said that I was going to buy SSB4 used in the thread on the boards (it's not Sakurai's fault at all), but this shows that Nintendo is no better than any other company despite what the folks with the Nintendo-is-perfect-and-does-nothing-wrong mentality on the GameFAQs Wii U board say.

theblackdragonAdmin

#21

theblackdragon said:

@ColorsOfSonic: Why does any of that matter? They talked about streaming the game, fans probably donated under the impression that that particular portion of the tournament would be streamed, and then they ask permission to broadcast that portion of the tournament after all the money has been donated? if anyone's to blame, it's EVO for not having crossed their 't's, dotted their 'i's, and secured that permission beforehand.

if you donate money to charity via a third party claiming if enough people vote via donation to watch him tool around town in my truck that he will, why on earth would it be my problem if, after finally having been asked permission to use it, I said 'no'?

TreesenHauser

#22

TreesenHauser said:

I'm very disappointed in Nintendo's decision. It's not like they have anything to lose by allowing it. If they keep this up, no one's gonna like Nintendo and they'll have good reason for it. More than disappointed, I'm actually quite angry. I feel bad for the fans who worked their butts off to raise that money, just to have Nintendo give them the solo-finger salute.

JusticeColde

#23

JusticeColde said:

It might have been something that the EVO people did or didn't do that caused this.
Nintendo doesn't really deserve any blame for this, though they don't have anything to lose for this as Melee is about 2 generations old now.

Jeremyx7

#24

Jeremyx7 said:

Personally thought it would be cool to see the tourney myself but in the end it's really not a big deal unless I make it a big deal in my head...moving on with my life now.....

SCAR392

#25

SCAR392 said:

To be fair, they should have asked first, then people wouldn't be complaining about Nintendo like usual...
They probably don't want publicity when a new game is coming out that may cause confusion. More proof that some people just take non issues so seriously.

LordGeovanni

#26

LordGeovanni said:

@ColorsOfSonic
Actually there ARE laws that concern by what manner a charity gains their donations. In so far, that then uses the IP of Nintendo? That could come down onto Nintendo legally if EVO later fails to deliver the money. Like I said, there are probably legal reasons why Nintendo decided to refuse.

@HaNks
You call me an apologist as if it is an insult. It merely means that I am defending an argument from a different side than you. The fact that you called me the "worst apologist" is a bit insulting. As I said to ColorsOfSonic, there ARE legal reasons why I would pull any of my own property out of charity promotions that I would not be in control of. And I didn't claim that Nintendo would donate the equivalent. I said that it was "more than likely". I know several companies that have donated anon to a charity after having their property removed from the promotions. They just wanted to protect themselves from possible wrong-doers. I know that it happened a lot during the Hurricane Katrina and Sandy fundraisers and several companies could have lost a whole lot if they backed the wrong people in those "charities". Many of the "charities" are still holding (or so they say) the money and haven't released them yet. Most of these (who have not released the money) are fake or out-right scams and many people have already gone to jail over it. Nintendo (and I, myself) would hate to be connected to such "charities".

Flynn

#27

Flynn said:

@theblackdragon Lol you're right, in order to stream you have to get a bunch of permissions. 9 times out of 10 Nintendo was informed late, because I never heard about this til now and I'm well versed in the fighting game community.

Brother_Jolteon

#28

Brother_Jolteon said:

Nintendo just keeps pooping on its fans and soon their reputation will be going quickly down the toilet along with the Wii U. Something tells me that soon people would start making "I hate nintendo videos" all over youtube and it might exceed the number of "Let's Play" videos.... Nintendo needs to start REALLY thinking about the fans instead of themselves. (I'm speaking about all nintendo fans, not myself. I've been slowly getting bored with nintendo for the past 3 years)

SCAR392

#29

SCAR392 said:

Speaking of people who need to 'think before [they] speak' and '[not] be a jerk for no reason', I advise you to 'step aside' if all you want to do is rile people up with your usual nonsense — TBD

TreesenHauser

#30

TreesenHauser said:

@SCAR392 If Nintendo explains themselves to everyone in the form of a Facebook post or a press statement and gives a very legitimate, proper reason for this, I'll forgive them and try my best to understand. However, it still ticks me off.

SCAR392

#31

SCAR392 said:

@TreesonHauser
Perhaps you should be ticked off at the fundraisers. It's apparent they started asking for donations before having their act straight.

turtlelink

#32

turtlelink said:

Wow, nice once Nintendo. Oh well, at least better games are being shown in place of it. Hopefully they'll pull a reversal on this one before Saturday, but this news killed any chance of me wanting to watch Melee gameplay anyway.
Its also kinda ironic cause I'm pretty sure the dudes behind Injustice PAID to get there game streamed at EVO while Nintendo is threatening to sue if their game gets streamed. Guess Nintendo trulydoesn't want Smash Bros. to be recognized as a fighting game.

Nice that they decided to still stream it. Still hurt there reputation a bit though.

TreesenHauser

#33

TreesenHauser said:

@SCAR392 Sugarcoat it however you want to, this is still gonna harm their PR. It's a shame too. Once again, I still want to hear their side of the story, but the entire thing just stinks.

Ren

#35

Ren said:

Yeah there is no excuse for this.
Defend them all you want but it just looks really bad. This wasn't thought through well. They could have looked into it and worked something out to avoid this kind of storm but clearly they feel they're better than the rest of us already, why do something for fans of a franchise that could be the only hope for your currently failing console?
really sad. I was hoping to get a WiiU late in the game but this is the kind of really stupid move that makes that look pretty unlikely now.

SCAR392

#36

SCAR392 said:

You guys can't be serious thinking that this is Nintendo's fault. It's not even an issue in the first place... They're still getting the money. That's all that matters.

Adam

#42

Adam said:

I still don't get why game companies should be allowed to deny streaming rights. It's not like a movie or a song where people are getting the product for free. But glad it's settled. It would just be a jerk move to deny the stream considering it doesn't hurt anything.

Adam

#45

Adam said:

I would prefer to watch Brawl, but I am still very much looking forward to this. Smash is an especially entertaining spectator game.

Aviator

#46

Aviator said:

@SCAR392 It does matter about the money though.

It doesn't matter that it was a charity donation, the fact is people gave money to have Smash Bros. streamed at EVO, and until recently that was denied.

If Nintendo didn't budge, potentially that money could've been given back to those who donated. You can't offer something for money then take it without fulfilling a promise.

TreesenHauser

#48

TreesenHauser said:

Yeah I'm glad either way, whether it was an oversight, an overreaction or a mistake from either party. What matters is Smash is still on, the money is still going to a good cause, and that Melee is getting streamed!

LordGeovanni

#51

LordGeovanni said:

@Adam

It is the reason supplied in my last post. (post #26). Nintendo could be held to legal ramifications of the "charity" because they are supplying support to that company. It is effectively like a company saying that the charity is legit.

King47

#53

King47 said:

I read on IGN that Nintendo allowed the streaming. So I guess this whole thing is over.

Dr_42o

#54

Dr_42o said:

Nintendo is older than your great grandparents, they can do what they want!

LordGeovanni

#56

LordGeovanni said:

@Adam
Actually, yes. Yes really. Could you imagine what Sony or M$ would say if Nintendo ended up saying that a charity could use their IP and then it turns out that it was a scam? Especially with a sensitive topic like Cancer. Nintendo "providing" the ability to stream their IP would open itself to legal ramifications as well as yet more mud-slinging down the road. I would much rather them SAY this but I at least understand their point.

rjejr

#57

rjejr said:

Probably EVOs fault for not getting permission beforehand but its a 10 year old game Nintendo, a little good will can sometimes go a long way.

SCAR392

#58

SCAR392 said:

@Aviator
I don't get what you mean about the money part, because I did say that's what mattered as far as donations go in this case.
Other than that, it was clearly EVO not following the proper protocol before making a fundraising goal.

LordGeovanni

#59

LordGeovanni said:

Can anyone confirm if it was an error or if Nintendo actually said that they refused at first? Twitter seems to think that they pushed Nintendo around and That seems a bit stupid for something that was "corrected" within 3 hours...

Adam

#61

Adam said:

Nintendo has never cared about mudslinging, and there are no legal issues except those you speculate may exist. I don't see that Nintendo provided anything or endorsed the event prior to the initial denial of streaming rights.

LordGeovanni

#63

LordGeovanni said:

@Adam
Nintendo doesn't mud-sling. That doesn't mean that they don't care of the potential of others to mud-sling on their image and properties. As for my "speculation", they are true. Just because you haven't heard of them, or researched them, doesn't mean that they haven't happened in the past.

LordGeovanni

#65

LordGeovanni said:

@thefabfour64 , @Ralizah

I am still trying to find out if Nintendo actually reversed their decision or if the mistake was actually EVO misunderstanding what Nintendo was saying... Try not to use terms that are unconfirmed so as that we don't keep using false pretenses. Saying that Nintendo "reversed their decision" places an implication that Nintendo was wrong - they may have never even said that they refused completely.

Adam

#66

Adam said:

I could easily say that I'm right and that you just haven't researched it, too, without giving any evidence. I really just wanted to leave my opinion in the comments, not be argued to death.

LordGeovanni

#69

LordGeovanni said:

@theblackdragon
Just stating my stance. Not really "arguing", just explaining.

It also bothers me a little that NL says that "Nintendo has reversed its decision" when you still do not have Nintendo's response and cannot confirm that they themselves even refused in the first place.

SCAR392

#70

SCAR392 said:

Nintendo probably just sent one of those "compare the pictures" emails that screams at you, and they took that as a no, but it was all a misunderstanding...

theblackdragonAdmin

#71

theblackdragon said:

@LordGeovanni: I think you meant to say that to Adam, but ok...? also, i have no control over site content. the moderation team is only here to keep you all from each other's throats, we have nothing to do with articles :3

JonWahlgrenAdmin

#72

JonWahlgren said:

@LordGeovanni One of our Nintendo contacts did get back to us saying that the decision was reversed. We're awaiting official comment from the company.

LordGeovanni

#73

LordGeovanni said:

@theblackdragon
Nah, the first part was for you. I am not trying to cause trouble. It is just how I may come across. If I seem confrontational, please let me know. I will try to eliminate that effect.

@JonWahlgren
So a Nintendo contact confirms that there was a reversal on the decision? Interesting. I wish that I knew more...

JonWahlgrenAdmin

#74

JonWahlgren said:

@LordGeovanni Shoryuken organizes the tournament, and NoA told them that they couldn't stream Smash Bros. They published the news, and it spread kinda everywhere super quick.

We emailed one of our Nintendo contacts asking for comment and they said they were looking in to it. Said contact emailed us right before we posted our new story saying that the decision was reversed.

So, it was definitely NoA's doing, but we still aren't sure of the reasoning behind it. Given that it's way past business hours in NoA's time zone I wouldn't expect to hear back from them until at the earliest tomorrow, provided they even bother commenting at all.

HaNks

#75

HaNks said:

@LordGeovanni guess you'll have to disagree with Nintendo this time, eh. like i said, the worst kind of apologist.

good job they came to their senses.

LordGeovanni

#76

LordGeovanni said:

@JonWahlgren
Hope they actually release a statement on this, however I expect less than a 5% chance of that. Nintendo tends to stay mum on a lot of things after they are over...

LordGeovanni

#77

LordGeovanni said:

@HaNks
And isn't that an aggressive statement. I still stand by my statements. I also never said that those were exactly the reason why Nintendo made that decision. Nor am I disagreeing with Nintendo. Additionally, there is not a real way to determine if they "came to their senses" due to the fact that either decision could be the "better" decision.

You tend to use a lot of words with emotions embedded within them. Sooner or later that may work against you.

SCAR392

#78

SCAR392 said:

If Nintendo's permission actually mattered, they could have said no.
The point is, is that people that bash Nintendo for their decisions don't usually understand why they made those decisions.
They don't need to provide reasons for why they say no.

LordGeovanni

#79

LordGeovanni said:

@SCAR392
Exactly my point. It is actually sad that a lot of people still do not know how far Sony was going to screw Nintendo over with the "Nintendo Play Station" SNES product. I actually thought that Nintendo was in the wrong until earlier this year. Yet it is still Nintendo that gets the most blame...

LordGeovanni

#83

LordGeovanni said:

Now I am getting pages with a broken CSS... I didn't even know it was a broken CSS until I got a non-broken page. :(

I have never been on the site so how could I have known?

Ren

#84

Ren said:

Fanboy much?
The people here can't seem to accept that Nintendo may have actually made a 'lil PR blunder by quickly saying no to a program they probably didn't know about and then righted it quickly.
Nintendo has a certain image to uphold, true, and they'll go to great lengths to control it, but legalities of using Nintendo stuff (people just playing the game) are pretty safe so theres no reason to speculate wildly with made up legal jargon. Nintendo isn't around to save babies, they're a company that sells games; thats it.

mozie

#85

mozie said:

Nintendo are really on a roll lately with poor decision making, really needs to be a shuffle in mgmt.

datamonkey

#86

datamonkey said:

This was a very poor decision by Nintendo. After all they gain FREE promotion for their content, yet decided to throw their IP rights muscle around. What would they have gained from stopping this? Nothing other than alienating fans.

Glad to see they overturned their decision.

Tomires

#87

Tomires said:

Whoever is in charge of Nintendo's PR department is doing it wrong. They desperately need free publicity especially with Wii U's sales in the toilet. And here they are trying to Mattrick the whole company. Ah well, bad for them I guess.

Tomires

#88

Tomires said:

And that's only one nail in the coffin, they others being lack of third party support, region lock, less powerful hardware and rather uninspired sequels in main series, so while the fledging 3DS gets blockbusters such as FE:A and SMT, Wii U is stuck with yet another Donkey Kong Country and a copy of Super Mario 3D Land with multiplayer tacked onto it. (Yes, I am aware that similiar games exist on the handheld platform, but they are outweighed by interesting new IPs) Where is the killer app (e.g. new Zelda or proper 3D Mario)? The closest game to this title would have to be Lego City Undercover. Innovation please! And start using the second screen or start bundling Wii U with a Pro Controller. + drop the price by $50 or this thing gets toasted on arrival of PS4. </endrant>

dumedum

#89

dumedum said:

So Nintendo has done nothing wrong, actually turns out they allowed the stream, and everything, and somehow people still find a way to be angry at Nintendo.

NINTENBOY

#90

NINTENBOY said:

Umm I love how people want to act like everything is a ok again just because they reversed their decision. That's not the point it's the fact they would even try this in the first place, it's the same thing with the Xbox One if you agree that people sould have a bit of bad blood with Microsoft because their would even try those crazy politics on Xbox One.

Then you sould agree it sould be the same with Nintendo with this completely DUMB decision! I'm not saying they should be BURNED on a pole but I look at them a different way now and the people who were defending these B4 the reversed it made themselfs look dumb when they did reverse it and proved that your a fanboy.

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