Super Smash Bros

Why the competitive community doesn’t matter to Nintendo and never will.

Content of the article: "Why the competitive community doesn’t matter to Nintendo and never will."

In light of recent events there's been several top players and community leaders talking about how "Nintendo is shooting itself in the foot" by not supporting competitive Melee and Smash in general and even actively trying to hinder it. On the surface this seems like bad business. But it makes no difference to Nintendo and here's why.

Smash Ultimate is the best selling Smash game to date. It has sold well over 20 million copies. The most amount of views an Ultimate tournament ever got was roughly 300K at an Evo (and this was largely due to Evo, Ultimate's regular viewership numbers are a a fraction of this). But for sake of argument let's say there are 300K people in the world today willing to tune into competitive Smash.

This is NOTHING to Nintendo. It doesn't even register on their radar. I probably don't need to explain the difference between 300 thousand and 20 million. Similarly when it comes to Melee Nintendo has no way of making significant money off of it so why would they care to support it? People playing on Slippi or even in general does not help their bottom line at all. They can't monetize any of it and even if they could, it wouldn't be enough to matter for them.

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The truth of the matter is top players and community leaders live in echo chambers where everyone agrees with almost everything they say blindly. But the fact is they aren't nearly as important as they think. They could all leave the community tomorrow and it would have zero effect on sales for future titles or DLC and that's all Nintendo really cares about.

There's also the argument that if you you search up content for Smash even as a casual, you'll get videos posted by competitive players. This leads to the delusion that these competitive content creators are boosting sales but again this has no grounds in reality. It's not like when Leffen or Hbox posts a "reaction" video, it generates millions of views and everybody who watches it suddenly become interested in Smash like never before and start buying Smash content. Their viewership is tiny relatively speaking and it's the people that already own the games.

Lastly I want to touch on the baffling behavior of a lot of these top players and community leaders. They'll say "Fuck Nintendo" for screwing with the competitive scene…then go back to buying Nintendo games and DLC and spending 12 hours a day playing them for their youtube and Twitch content. Once the next Smash bros comes out, no matter what Nintendo does today everyone is going to buy it including these same people for the free publicity/channel growth opportunities.

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Competitive Smash is a ton of fun but it's just a hobby and nothing more. I get people have dedicated their lives to it and want to turn it into a career but outside of 3-4 main exceptions (who are well off due to Twitch/Youtube, not competitive Smash), that's never going to happen. It will never be a real esport with life changing prize pots. That battle was lost a long time ago.


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