EVO staff: We didn't do anything to alter the Smash stream situation, had to be bad PR that changed Nintendo's minds

Posted by Jonathan 'Catalyst' Grey • July 10, 2013 at 6:38 p.m. PDT
EVO staff: We didn't do anything to alter the Smash stream situation, had to be bad PR that changed Nintendo's minds During today's Live on 3, Joey "Mr. Wizard" Cuellar, one of the guys behind EVO, was on hand to discuss the upcoming event.

He talked about the situation that went down with Nintendo and how their legal department stated that they couldn't stream Super Smash Bros. Melee, and how things turned around.

Cuellar stated that he initially talked to a few people inside of Nintendo's camp and they didn't see a problem at first, but he didn't get in touch with their legal department, as you don't always want to go that route, cause they can shut things down early.

As the event was nearing, he received an email from Nintendo's legal department, letting him know that they not only wanted to shut down the stream — but the Smash tournament as well.

Wizard said at the time they didn't present EVO staff with any options, they simply wanted to shut them down, as there was no offer of licensing fees or anything like that, so they could run things as planned.

After some discussion with EVO staff, they got Nintendo to agree to just shut down the streaming part of the event, and they decided not to press any further and comply with their legal department completely. Shortly after that, an announcement was made about them being unable to stream Super Smash Bros. Melee this year.

The story went viral quickly, with a number of sites and Twitter feeds talking about what went down, and generating a considerable amount of bad press for Nintendo. In short order, Nintendo ended up calling Tom Cannon, another EVO staff member, later on and informed them that they had reversed their decision.

Cuellar noted that EVO staff did nothing on their end to try and change things, and he felt it had to be the bad PR (public relations) they were getting that caused Nintendo to change their minds.

He felt that through this process, Nintendo was just trying to protect their IP (Intellectual Property).

This isn't the first time something like this has happened with Nintendo, as back in 2010, MLG was unable to attain streaming rights for their Super Smash Bros. Brawl tournament.

Cuellar did note that he was grateful to Nintendo for letting them stream and host the Super Smash Bros. Melee tournament.


t0fu said on July 10, 2013 at 6:40 p.m.

i'm guessing there's is a new job opening at NoA.

SnakeX said on July 10, 2013 at 6:41 p.m.

People were tweeting and emailing their outrage directly at Nintendo pretty much nonstop that day, so it definitely had to be the bad PR.

Aeybo said on July 10, 2013 at 6:44 p.m.

Damn shut the whole tournament down? That's crazy lol

xanderglz said on July 10, 2013 at 6:45 p.m.

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M1Punk said on July 10, 2013 at 6:49 p.m.

I love how big companies no longer think before they act -.-'

TrueGamingGuru said on July 10, 2013 at 6:49 p.m.

I can see why Nintendo wanted to protect their IP, but I don't see game tournaments like EVO or MLG to really ruin SSB reputation or something. Its that certain communities were very passionate with SSB which certain SSB games ended up in tournaments.

wallie said on July 10, 2013 at 6:50 p.m.

Shut down the whole tournament. I couldn't imagine all the hell nintendo would of caught if they pulled that stunt. At least gamers have learned over the past month with the xbox one and this smash bros fiasco is that if they are unhappy with a game publisher they can ban together and yell at them until they change their minds.

DJ_Freeze said on July 10, 2013 at 7:04 p.m.

does this mean if we yell at capcom about updating marvel they might do it? ......o wait....

Truegamer said on July 10, 2013 at 7:04 p.m.

A new low on Nintendos part if you ask me.

Shut down the Melee Event? Seriously?

ONG_BAK_SAGAT said on July 10, 2013 at 7:08 p.m.

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lordrockman said on July 10, 2013 at 7:08 p.m.

ah ok nothing happened so moving on......

novalks said on July 10, 2013 at 7:11 p.m.

Doubt it, seems that it is all about money. In that PR can lead to bad sales

hazelnut1112 said on July 10, 2013 at 7:13 p.m.

Well at least Nintendo LISTENED on one thing.
So, about that 3DS and Wii U region lock...

DarknessFallz said on July 10, 2013 at 7:13 p.m.

If I were the EVO staffers I would not stream Smash out of spite even after being given the OK. Nintendo made a decision, they should live with the consequences and hopefully it would alert them that their company should really be making better decisions. If they want to protect their IP, I understand, but they are really out of touch and the fact that they are becoming litigious after losing tons of money due to terrible game and console choices shouldn't excuse them from getting fed humble pie when they continue to alienate their fan base.

roknin said on July 10, 2013 at 7:17 p.m.

So apparently this was a disconnect between their legal department and their PR department. Or something.

Someone or a group of someones should be demoted to Janitors, or out looking for new gigs. The hair-trigger reaction to shut it down like that last minute was just... asinine.

@14 - "If I were the EVO staffers I would not stream Smash out of spite even after being given the OK. Nintendo made a decision, they should live with the consequences and hopefully it would alert them that their company should really be making better decisions."

Then you're punishing the Smash Community for absolutely no reason. Not fair by any extent, IMO.

xanderglz said on July 10, 2013 at 7:18 p.m.

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DJScrubble said on July 10, 2013 at 7:23 p.m.

People don't understand that legal departments from companies are like sharks on the prowl. Their job is to seek and destroy anything that looks like it is infringing on copyright. Like a drug dog, they get rewarded when they even find the smallest bit of evidence. Not Nintendo' fault that their legal department is reeeeeeeeeeeally good at their job. It is their fault for not knowing when to call off the hounds AND NOT RELAYING THAT THEY CONTACTED YOU ABOUT THE TOURNAMENT BEFORE THEY MADE PLANS TO STREAM. Just a little communication between the departments is all you need.

LordProsper said on July 10, 2013 at 7:25 p.m.

@14 Good thing you're not running any major tournaments then, that would just be screwing the community over and making you look like an ass.

DarknessFallz said on July 10, 2013 at 7:27 p.m.

Ah I knew it was fan-requested I had forgotten the fans gave money though.

RandomJohn said on July 10, 2013 at 7:27 p.m.

Nintendo is still garbage. I'm surprised they're still in business.

GH0ST said on July 10, 2013 at 7:32 p.m.

Get your head right Nintendo the people have spoken

xanderglz said on July 10, 2013 at 7:49 p.m.

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icejohn said on July 10, 2013 at 7:50 p.m.

Thank gwad for the internet!
You have made some great 180s this year.

two2tone said on July 10, 2013 at 7:56 p.m.

first xbox one. now nintendo? lol corporate chumps seriously...

x0n said on July 10, 2013 at 7:58 p.m.

Cuellar's right: Its always a bad idea to go ask the lawyers first. There's always a disconnect between them and the rest of the company. They will always say no first unless you can convince them otherwise. The problem though with most behemoth companies with legal departments is that they forget that the lawyers work for them. They are lazy and reactive, so they let them run the show through sheer ignorance of current affairs. This time though they told them to back off, which is likely what happened once the PR folks picked up on it.

Firegod said on July 10, 2013 at 8:10 p.m.

I think its interesting that evo staff did nothing to try to fix the situation.

noone sent a email or a "hey whats going on" or nothing? LOL wow, it was straight up "AH WELL, MOVEING ON!"

xShonuffx said on July 10, 2013 at 8:14 p.m.

Its not Nintendos fault at least not the higher ups. They are a big company and sometimes the people on the bottom don't know what way their arse should be facing. Obviously the legal department has no idea how benificial these kinds of exposures are. I think Nintendo is slowly wising up to this since they also 180'd their threats to put copyright claims on any Youtube vids that has Nintendo gameplay on it - even though they still could.

I don't know whats going on in Nintendo but I hope a lot of firing is happening, its time for Nintendo to grow up or get left behind and im a fan talking here.

Catalyst said on July 10, 2013 at 8:17 p.m.


Nintendo wanted to cancel the Smash tournament, EVO staffers talked them out of it.

So, they most certainly did do something, but as far as the stream went, that was everyone else.

Abbadon36 said on July 10, 2013 at 8:30 p.m.

Way to kill yourselves Nintendo. Been doing it this long, why change now?

soggytoast said on July 10, 2013 at 8:39 p.m.

I can only imagine the ****storm that would have came down if they actually shut down the smash tournament...

buzzbros2002 said on July 10, 2013 at 8:40 p.m.


I can somewhat understand here Nintendo is coming from this. Putting myself in Nintendo's shoes, A major event is being held with their IP. Nintendo legal, not being contacted ahead of time, finds out about it, but only what I said.

A major event being held using their intellectual property.

They have an obligation to protect and control their IP, and while it wouldn't be too bad if they knew more details about what was going on, as they seem to do now, they had to work with what they had at the time. They probably weren't in sync with the PR department in terms of how big the tournament is and what could happen PR wise if they fired the shots that they had fired. All they were focused on was making sure their IP was protected.

After they got the scope of the tournament and that their IP wasn't being shown in a bad light, the tourney is a go but there's the matter of streaming. This gets kind of murky in terms of what ad-share money EVO is getting from the streaming. I'm not sure about EVO, but often times when there's a gaming tournament streamed there's ads played in it, and money being paid to EVO that's advertisement revenue can be seen as money lost from Nintendo.

I'm not saying they were right to completely shut down the stream too, but they must have taken that into context as well and that is why they didn't release streaming rights of their game. After all, they recently released a statement saying that any videos showing game play of Nintendo games aren't to be used to gain money, and any videos on YouTube being monetized upon the money is legally Nintendo's since it's off of their IP. To prevent the stream, at least until financial information can be run upon it, is Nintendo defending not only it's IP and the money it makes on it, but it's more recent YouTube decision.

All that being said, I'm glad they let EVO be after all is said and done, but can't really be too mad at them. After all, the Wii-U is still better than the X-BOne. That is all.

orochi_kyo said on July 10, 2013 at 8:43 p.m.

People is heavily uninformed about Nintendo situation. Microsoft wasnt the first, Nintendo got ownership in a lot of channels and streamings months ago, privating of any revenue to the videomakers on youtube. So any video about any nintendo game will be owned by nintendo, and nintendo will be receiving the money for clicks on publicity for that fanmade videos. This is just a consecuence of this new policy.
I dont give a crap about Smash but nintendo is just being a as--ole with their own fans.

Reality said on July 10, 2013 at 8:48 p.m.

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Eternal said on July 10, 2013 at 9:17 p.m.

@33 actually all it solidifies is that Nintendo's legal department are a bunch of idiots. This isn't like the Xbone thing where it was designed from the ground up and planned for months to sh*t on customers and only acquiesced to the idea after a week of saying that they wouldn't. Nintendo turned this turd around in HOURS and from the sounds of it, a lot of the issue was an insular issue within the legal department exclusively rather than Nintendo as a whole.

Lawyers suck.

SupaFly79 said on July 10, 2013 at 9:42 p.m.

See this is the difference between Nintendo and companies like Capcom that actually not only allow their games streamed and played at EVO with no problems, but also have an actual presence at EVO and support the scene. Nintendo has never put ANY support into EVO and couldn't care less about it.

EnsignHiro said on July 10, 2013 at 9:49 p.m.

I'm glad companies are giving in. Stop making such harsh useless decisions or pay the price!

ukyo_rulz said on July 10, 2013 at 9:52 p.m.

Protect the IP from what? Free publicity?

Echo01 said on July 10, 2013 at 10:25 p.m.

Would've been hell on earth had it got out that Nintendo wanted to shut down the entire Smash tournament. Hell. On. Earth.

franciscois said on July 10, 2013 at 10:36 p.m.

dude, nintendo is being run by a bunch of idiots, how can they not recognize good free publicity when they see it?

TheTHCGamer said on July 10, 2013 at 10:53 p.m.

The problem with Nintendo is there stubbornness to do things there way and only there way far to long. It all started with the N64 if Nintendo just made that console Disc based instead of cartridge with the excuse being load time then they still might have better quality 3rd party games.

Ive bought every Nintendo home console but the changes they have made have been for the worse. For example no more Nintendo seal of quality for the games which means there 3rd party games are littered with shovelware especially the Wii. Sony even learned there lesson quickly with the PS3 and made the PS4 more developer friendly.

Mircrosoft almost made a big mistake then changed there minds before releasing the xbox one. Nintendo however has been making mistakes when it comes to there consumers by doing things there way for far to long. I really love the Smash Bros games and there first party titles minus a few which disappointed me on the Wii.

There 3rd party support though has been s*** in my opinion ever since the N64 and only recently have I seen signs of it possibly getting better with the Wii U. Don't get me wrong the Wii sold great but as expected had the lowest software sales. The reason the Wii sold well was it was a fad and fads don't last.

Also too many fads instead of having it on the side like a Kinect or PS move will end up dooming you in the long run. Most everyone that bought a Wii just bought one because it was the cool thing to buy and just played Wii sports. Now Nintendo though well that was a great idea so lets release a tablet for a controller.

Guess what lots and I mean LOTS of people already own a tablet so why do you want to use one to play on a home console? I personally feel that if Nintendo would just stick with the basic controller design for games and the gimmicky stuff on the side it would work out better for them.

TheTHCGamer said on July 10, 2013 at 10:53 p.m.

You also put developers in a bind because of just porting a game over you have to figure out a unique way of making the game play. Its not that I don't want Nintendo to be successful its just the fact that id like to buy more than 5-8 games for there consoles that aren't first party games.

N64 did have its moments with the release of Smash Bros and the AKI wrestling games (which are right up there with the fire pro wrestling games) however PS was much better. Just imagine if square enix didn't have a falling out with Nintendo we could've seen games like FFVII on the N64.

Its not just online but features also like online play. Talk about making it a hassle to play friends online on the Wii and lacking features for most games like online chat. Sony and Microsoft however did great this gen with online play/features. Good old Nintendo online gaming like its 1995.

All I can hope for online wise is that Super Smash Bros Wii U has a great netcode because Nintendo charges you to buy a lan adapter to play with a wired connection. Lets be real most Wii and Wii U owners really don't have the best online connections. That's because the console isn't as online oriented with features as say Sony/Microsoft.

I know im going to get some backlash for this but sometimes I just wish Nintendo would just make games instead of releasing consoles. Just thinking how much fun it would be to play Nintendo games on a traditional controller and with great online features is enticing. On top of that id only have to buy 2 consoles instead of 3.

I really do hope Nintendo can turn things around for the Wii U and Nintendo home consoles in general. For those of you who love Nintendo consoles you don't know how great they were unless you owned a SNES. You don't always have to do something completely different from your competitor does just do it with your own twist.

EMP_TriForce_GM said on July 10, 2013 at 11:09 p.m.


Superboy said on July 11, 2013 at 12:59 a.m.

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MasterOfMagnet said on July 11, 2013 at 3:15 a.m.

Nintendo is godlike. Why all this guys in neckties dont think before they doing something?

smashawiiu said on July 11, 2013 at 3:27 a.m.

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StoopidMunky said on July 11, 2013 at 4:08 a.m.

Nintendo's Legal department are a bunch of freaking idiots, are they not aware that almost all of their games are being streamed on youtube? you can't go after the big fry, if you let the small fry get away with murder!!!!

Necrobern said on July 11, 2013 at 5:11 a.m.

@46 Yes they know after trying (and succeeding?) to take money from LP channels playing their games.

mvegetam said on July 11, 2013 at 5:45 a.m.

I say f**k their innovating design..

When you treat your fans like that.. You should be thrown to the trash

spectaa said on July 11, 2013 at 6:13 a.m.

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alphachimp said on July 11, 2013 at 6:39 a.m.

First, Nintendo's Legal Dept. was only doing their job...I find that there was nothing wrong with that as that was their duty to do so by Nintendo..

Second, Nintendo (PR side) must know that by having their game played at Evo2013 it exposes them to hundreds/thousands of people in showing how great Smash Bros. is therefore, giving them more potential customers...
Add the stream = that just free advertising..

If Nintendo wants to stop the Smash tournament or stream..I say let them..People that don‘t know how great Smash is won't and therefore won't buy the Wii U console or the game...plain and simple.. No new sales means same crappy low profit..

ZOMBIEMEGAMAN said on July 11, 2013 at 6:51 a.m.

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OSM said on July 11, 2013 at 7:07 a.m.

Why is anyone blaming Nintendo for this? Now that the truth is out, it's the EVO staff's fault for not talking with Nintendo's legal staff in the first place. Getting cold feet and assuming everything would work out was foolish of them.

The only thing that doesn't make sense to me is why Nintendo would want to outright ban the Smash tournament completely when it's been played at dozens of venues before in the past. It's bad PR on both sides here, really.

KingKong said on July 11, 2013 at 7:11 a.m.

THCGamer your posts always seem interesting, however, you gotta learn the difference between there and they're and their. Because otherwise your posts are a PITA to read.

Krisp said on July 11, 2013 at 7:20 a.m.

@42 triforce, you seem to think you know something others don't. Still waiting on that, would be nice to hear if this wont happen again.

xanderglz said on July 11, 2013 at 9:59 a.m.

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TheTHCGamer said on July 11, 2013 at 10:20 a.m.

@53 Lol I know the difference but I'm just lazy. Here's the thing I'm not in high school or college anymore which means I'm not going out of my way to have perfect grammar for a gaming website. Sorry I'm just keeping it real and I've seen plenty of articles with grammar mistakes like misspelling errors. Guess what though I could care less though because for one I understand what they mean and number two I understand this isn't a term paper.

If you understand what I'm saying then then my lack of perfect grammar on a gaming site shouldnt be an issue. I'm not trying to be a defensive jerk I'm just trying to give you my perspective because I was like you once however now that I'm older I just want to state my opinion sometimes without having to worry about my well my grammar turned out. This isn't the case for me but you also learn over time that people have reasons for there poor grammar.

English for example isn't everyone's first language and I'm glad you find my posts interesting however I'm not going out of my way to make sure to cater to you by making them the way you'd like. Lol Sorry but that's just the way it is. When your in high school and college you do worry about things like grammar but when that's no longer the case then you realize it's not that big of a deal when it comes to things like a gaming website.

I guess it's the whole gamefaqs mentallity of having better grammar makes you more intelligent but I've guess I've grown out of that. Anyway sorry for rambling I just thought I'd explain myself and I'm glad you find my comments interesting :). @45 Sorry that its to much for you to read and I'm assuming thats because you've only read comments your whole life. What would you call a book that's over 500 pages?

ya_boy said on July 11, 2013 at 12:24 p.m.

Greedy ass Nintendo wanted to shut it down because they weren't in on it so they couldn't get any money.
They then realized that they can't stop people from gathering to play the game so they had to stuff it, of course the fans that aren't going and want to watch quickly changed that.

Nintendo died a long time ago and they do nothing but push out countless Mario games, released out dated systems and milk Pokemon.

xsickzackx said on July 11, 2013 at 12:30 p.m.

I think osm #52 hit the nail on the head. if youre going to be streaming a nintendo game to thousands in the biggest fg tourny in the world, maybe you should clear the IP ahead of time..

@56. lol four paragraphs to tell a guy why you decline to correct there/their/theyre.

EMP_TriForce_GM said on July 11, 2013 at 1:32 p.m.

Ok, so let me stop all the speculation. Nintendo was informed about the streaming, they said no because they did not understand the logistics or reason behind it. An outcry erupted, and influential Nintendo supporters that Nintendo trust, reached out to them and gave them the run down on how important the stream was to the fans, their community and brand. They told Nintendo what was done to get the game in the tournament to begin with and then from there they were no longer ignorant to the matter at hand. They reversed their decision now that they had all the details seeing the positive that the community would gain. That's actually all that happen.

If you were not one of the people that actually called in... (honestly there were only a handful, literately) and I'm not talking about the 1-800 number, I'm talking about directly speaking with corporate please stop speculating. What matters is that Nintendo did the right thing for their community. END POINT.

EMP_TriForce_GM said on July 11, 2013 at 1:33 p.m.

Myself along with others are looking for a way to avoid future events like that from happening. aka help keep Nintendo in the know of what is going on in the hardcore grassroots community.

KataM said on July 11, 2013 at 2 p.m.

While other companies used EVO-like events as a platform to promote their games, Nintendo speaks about canceling it. What a bunch of morons.

kara said on July 11, 2013 at 3:25 p.m.

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Tensa said on July 11, 2013 at 4:24 p.m.

Yeah hopefully we can get people to talk to nintendo of U.S and nintendo of JP so this won't happen again


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