'Super Smash Bros. is a dangerous brand' - former Nintendo marketing specialist discusses why the company may have prohibited Melee's EVO stream

Posted by Steven 'Dreamking23' Chavez • August 16, 2013 at 6:54 p.m. PDT
'Super Smash Bros. is a dangerous brand' - former Nintendo marketing specialist discusses why the company may have prohibited Melee's EVO stream Back in early July, Nintendo of America made a decision to deny the Evolution tournament series permission to stream Super Smash Bros. Melee at EVO 2013. Due to a massive fan outcry, NoA quickly reversed this decision and the Melee stream went ahead as originally planned.


Many players and fans alike were perplexed by Nintendo of America's rash decision to stop the public streaming of their game at the year's largest fighting game event. Luckily, former Nintendo marketing specialist Kyle Mercury, having worked for the company from 2001 - 2007 (during the GameCube era), recently shed some light on why NoA may have made such a decision.

Mercury explains that although Super Smash Bros. does extremely well as a promotional tool, Nintendo feels the franchise is a "dangerous" brand due to the fact that it features many of their most popular characters inflicting physical harm on one another.

Because so many of these characters are widely recognized outside of their fighting game personas, Nintendo wasn't too comfortable with having them represented publicly as nothing but violent, to such a large audience.

From a Marketing perspective, Smash is dangerous because of the content/playstyle of the game. Iconic Nintendo mascots beating the hell out of each other is an awesome gameplay experience, no one will challenge that fact, but from an overall Marketing view it’s, well, dangerous. The popular image of Mario, the widely publicly recognized one, can never be of him beating the hell out of Princess Peach or, say, of Link tossing Zelda into the fires of Brinstar, Pikachu hitting Jigglypuff with a baseball bat, so on, so forth.

Hit the jump to read on.

Unlike most other fighting game characters, the Nintendo mascots have far-reaching brands and franchises unto themselves that have to be considered and protected in a bigger picture view. EVO would have taken the character representations out of the hands of Nintendo’s control, boiled them down to pure violence, and broadcast it directly to 125,000 people. It’s not hard to see why Nintendo would be a little gun-shy.

Don’t get me wrong, I was thrilled to see Super Smash Bros Melee at EVO2013 (full disclosure, I was a Judge at EVO this year), but the outcry against Nintendo at the initial decision was so one-sided, so inconsiderate of what the company has to deal with to protect their brands, and just generally uninformed. Gamers want what they want, but there is always more at stake than we know.

Source: My Nintendo News and NotEnoughShaders. Via CEO|Alex Jebailey's Twitter.

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