Thursday, 25 July 2013

Nintendo Didn't Want Smash Bros at EVO, Period

Nintendo attempts to take their ball and go home. EVO crowd asks "what the hell?"

Although it might be a bit late to bring it up now, all things considered, during the week I was on hiatus the weekend did see the annual fighting game extravaganza of EVO 2013 take place. This mecca of fighting games saw many titles represented, from Street Fighter 4 AE and Marvel vs. Capcom 3, to games like Injustice, King of Fighters XII, Persona 4 Arena, Mortal Kombat 9, and Super Smash Brothers Melee.

It's a grand old time where a lot of the world's most famous players step up to both entertain and own in kind. A lot of the games that are played enjoy a level of free advertising thanks to the streams and the various hype built up around them. That's why it came as somewhat of a surprise when Nintendo pulled Super Smash Brothers Melee from the streams.

Even though the decision was quickly reversed after word reached the public at large, the move was still somewhat shocking. When you consider that the newest iteration of SSB is set to launch on both the WiiU and the 3DS next year, it wouldn't be out of the realm of possibility to think that Nintendo would have welcomed a chance for any version of the franchise to get back into the public eye.

When I heard about the news, my mind went to the recent decision by the company to start claiming "Let's Plays" from people on Youtube and forcing advertising upon them whether the creators originally had ads enabled or not. One of my friends even had his LP affected, and chose to take down the video in response. While Nintendo does have the right to attempt to claim their property, there's also the effort that the LPers are putting it, and the fact that they are advertising for the games and companies that they play for.

Well, even though the EVO SSB stuff went off after all, it seems that Nintendo was also ultimately misinterpreted; they didn't want to pull the streams: they wanted SSB out of EVO completely.

"They were not only trying to shut down the stream, they were trying to shut down the event; the Smash portion of the event," Cuellar said. "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 wasn't until the fan backlash that Nintendo felt pressured to pull a complete 180."

Now, I can wrap my head around not wanting something streamed, even though I can't make complete sense of it. But not wanting what is essentially free press for your game franchise? That strikes me as absolutely ludicrous.

I cannot understand what Nintendo was thinking when they attempted to completely pull SSBM from the event. Even though they ultimately didn't you cannot tell me that they were blind to the fact that even attempting to do so would get people talking about it. What Nintendo needs right now is NOT a bunch of negative press about how they wouldn't let people use their games.

Think about it; even though the 3DS has been doing alright, the WiiU hasn't been nearly as profitable as the company had been hoping it was. Nintendo should be embracing its fanbase, and instead it seems content to try and push them away in a lot of instances, this included. I don't understand the reasoning behind their motivations, but I hope that they get some sense put into them by the reaction to this.

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