Nintendo Initially Requested a Shutdown of the Whole Smash Bros. EVO Event, Before Backtracking
Posted by Thomas Whitehead
It wasn't just the stream
We know that Nintendo, in recent months, has been attempting to assert greater control over its image and any representation of its IPs. It started claiming the advert money from monetized videos featuring its properties on YouTube, before subsequently backing down in some cases; it wouldn't be surprising if this was due to the overwhelmingly negative online reaction to that move. In a case of déjà vu, but with events moving far quicker, Nintendo reportedly tried to shut down the planned live stream of Super Smash Bros. Melee at EVO 2013 — an online storm ensued, and the company rapidly back-tracked and withdrew its objection.
That was a victory for the fans, it seemed, but it's since emerged that Nintendo wasn't merely seeking to prevent the live stream alone, but the actual Melee event itself. Speaking to OneMoreGameTV, EVO co-founder Joey "Mr Wizard" Cuellar stated that despite contacts in Nintendo that had previously said they couldn't see a problem with the event, the issue hadn't just been down to streaming online.
They were not only trying to shut down the stream, they were trying to shut down the event; the Smash portion of the event.
It's their IP, they can do whatever they want, and they didn't present us with any options to keep it open, they were just 'Hey, we want to shut you down. And we kinda wigwammed our way through it and they were fine with just shutting down the streaming portion of the event. And that was that. And we were not going to press any further. It's their IP, we respect Nintendo's decision to protect their IP, and we were going to comply with the legal department completely. So at that point it was over.
Cuellar unsurprisingly attributed the u-turn to "the bad PR they were getting" and "the power of the internet", and in the end the Melee section — which was there as a result of a fundraising fan campaign, after all — will go ahead as originally planned. It's the latest case of Nintendo (particularly Nintendo of America) falling foul of fans while trying to control the 'message' and coverage of its games, though Cuellar did make a point in this interview of offering his thanks to Nintendo for reversing its decision and allowing the event and live stream to go ahead.
Hopefully issues like this won't occur too often. As Nintendo surely knows, if fans are broadcasting and talking about their games — especially in Let's Plays and gamer events — then that can often be a major positive.