Publication date: October 24th, 2023
Effective date: November 15th, 2023
Thank you for sharing your passion for Nintendo’s games, characters and worlds. Nintendo cares about the community and would like to support individuals who want to celebrate that passion by creating memorable co-operative and competitive play experiences. At the same time, we want to ensure that fans who are doing so are engaging with our games, characters, and worlds in a way that positively supports other fans, players and Nintendo.
In that spirit, we have created guidelines for individual Organisers to follow when hosting not-for-profit, small scale community tournaments (Community Tournaments) involving games for which Nintendo owns the copyright (Nintendo games). Please familiarise yourself with the guidelines below before planning a Community Tournament.
Community Tournaments may be operated by individuals (Organisers) for individuals participating in tournaments (Participants) and for individuals viewing tournaments (Spectators) provided that these guidelines are followed:
The Community Tournament is small-scale and not for commercial profit
The tournament may use Nintendo game footage or images under the following conditions:
The Community Tournament is not affiliated with Nintendo and makes no use of Nintendo trademarks or IP except as permitted by these guidelines
The games used must have been officially launched or service has officially begun in the region where the Community Tournament is taking place
The Organiser posts the following notices on-site and on tournament websites and other promotional materials:
The Organiser adheres to the following additional stipulations:
In addition, Nintendo games may not be used for Community Tournaments that:
Nintendo reserves the right to take legal action against or cancel any Community Tournaments in its sole discretion, including any tournaments that violate or are likely to violate these guidelines, or Community Tournaments that Nintendo otherwise deems inappropriate. In addition, we may take measures such as prohibiting individuals who violate these guidelines, or engage in other inappropriate acts, from hosting tournaments in the future.
Nintendo is not responsible for any problems that may arise between Organisers, Participants, Spectators or third parties regarding the operation of the Community Tournament. In addition, please be advised that Nintendo will not respond to individual inquiries regarding the guidelines or Q&A.
We may update these guidelines and Q&A from time to time, so please check the latest guidelines and Q&A before announcing and conducting a Community Tournament.
If there are special provisions in other Nintendo guidelines, please follow those guidelines as well.
Q1. What does a "Community Tournament" permitted by these guidelines refer to?
A1. A Community Tournament permitted by these guidelines must meet the following requirements:
Q2. Is using Nintendo game logos and character images acceptable to promote Community Tournaments? Is it also permitted to use images from Nintendo games to decorate the venue or to use music, sound effects, etc., from Nintendo games as background music at the venue?
A2. No, it is not permitted to use Nintendo game logos, character images, game images, music, or sound effects for Community Tournament promotions, venue decorations, or venue background music. However, you are permitted to use footage and screenshots captured from Nintendo games for promotional materials for your tournament.
Q3. What are some of the tournaments that are not permitted by these guidelines?
A3. Tournaments that are not permitted by these guidelines include, but are not limited to the below.
Please note that Nintendo does not currently grant permission for individuals to organise commercial tournaments. We ask for your understanding.
Q4. How can we ensure that the total admission fees collected at in-person Community Tournaments do not exceed the total tournament setup costs?
A4. When organising in-person Community Tournaments that collect admission fees, please set the maximum number of Spectators in advance, and ensure that the actual number of Spectators does not exceed the maximum. Please ensure that the amount obtained by multiplying the maximum number of Spectators by the per capita admission fee will not exceed the cost of setting up the tournament. In the unlikely event that the total amount of admission fees collected exceeds the cost of the tournament setup, the excess amount must be returned to the Spectators who paid the fee.
Q5. Is it possible to name Community Tournaments after a specific product, name of a service or third party?
A5. Community Tournaments and Nintendo games may not be used to advertise or promote any entity, products, or services, or to promote any campaigns or initiatives based on personal or organised opinions, ideologies or beliefs. Therefore, you may not use the name of a third-party corporation, organisation, product, service or trade name as the name of a Community Tournament.
However, if all the individual Organisers, Participants, and the majority of Spectators of a Community Tournament belong to a single legal entity or organisation, the name of that entity or organisation may be used in the name of the Community Tournament.
Example: If all Organisers, Participants and the majority of Spectators are students of XXX University, a tournament name such as the "XXX University Tournament" will be allowed.
Q6. Is it permitted to use Nintendo game titles or character names in the names of a Community Tournament?
A6. It is not permitted to use Nintendo's trademarks or IP in the name of a tournament. For instance, "Super Smash Bros. Super Challenge" and "Splatoon Throwdown" are not permitted as names of Community Tournaments. However, you are allowed to include game names in the description of a Community Tournament to show which games will be used in the Community Tournament. Similarly, Nintendo’s characters must not be used in tournament names, but you are allowed to include them in the tournament description to show which characters could be used in the tournament.
Q7. We want to livestream the Community Tournament on network services such as YouTube – is this possible?
A7. For posting or livestreaming Community Tournament-related content, such as videos and still images that use footage and screenshots captured from Nintendo games, to personal accounts on appropriate video- and image-sharing sites, or monetising your posts, please obtain permission from the Participants beforehand and refer to the Nintendo Game Content Guidelines for Online Video & Image Sharing Platforms in addition to these guidelines. If you decide to monetise your Community Tournament-related posts, such as videos and still images, based on the Nintendo Game Content Guidelines for Online Video & Image Sharing Platforms, please be aware of the limits on the total amount of revenue that you can earn from your posts, as stated in these guidelines.
Please note that Community Tournaments and Nintendo games cannot be used to advertise or promote any entity, products or services, or that promote any campaigns or initiatives based on personal or organised opinions, ideologies or beliefs. Therefore, with the exception of advertisements added by content distribution platforms such as YouTube, please ensure that ads (in particular, third-party advertisements and logos) do not appear in the videos, still images, etc., that you share.
Q8. Would a Community Tournament be permitted by these guidelines if persons affiliated with a legal entity or organisation are Organisers or Participants?
A8. If persons affiliated with a legal entity or organisation would like to organise a Community Tournament or participate in a Community Tournament as an individual outside the legal entity or organisation and not in an official capacity on behalf of the legal entity or organisation, then yes, the Community Tournament will be permitted under the Guidelines. If you would like to organise a tournament or participate in a tournament in an official capacity on behalf of the legal entity or organisation, you must apply for and obtain permission as specified in Q14.
Q9. Would a tournament organised by individuals but outsourced to a legal entity or organisation for operation be permitted under these guidelines?
A9. If the operation of a tournament or the operation of a livestream is outsourced to a legal entity or organisation, the tournament will be deemed to be hosted by the legal entity or organisation. Therefore, this tournament will not be permitted under the guidelines and will require a formal licence that must be applied for as described in Q14.
Q10. Is it acceptable to use Nintendo products as prizes for Community Tournaments?
A10. Nintendo products may be used as prizes so long as the product has launched in the region where the Community Tournament is taking place. Please refrain from using unreleased products for promoting Community Tournaments or as prizes.
Q11. I want to organise a large tournament, with more than 300 Participants in an online tournament or more than 200 Participants in an in-person tournament. What should I do?
A11. Currently, we do not grant permission for individuals to organise tournaments with more than 300 Participants in an online tournament or more than 200 Participants in an in-person tournament. We appreciate your understanding. If you would like to organise a tournament that exceeds the cap, please consider dividing it into blocks, as described in Q12. If you want to host a tournament using Nintendo games as an organisation, such as a club, please apply for a licence as described in Q14.
Q12. The total number of Participants across all blocks is expected to be over 300 in my online tournament (or over 200 in my in-person tournament). If a tournament is divided into blocks, such as Block A, Block B, and so on, and the total number of Participants in the blocks held on the same day does not exceed 300 people for online tournaments or 200 people for in-person tournaments, can I still host a Community Tournament based on these guidelines?
A12. These guidelines permit a community tournament divided into blocks, hosted by a single Organiser, as long as the total number of Participants per day does not exceed 300 for online tournaments and 200 for in-person tournaments. For example, in a tournament organised by a single Organiser, if there are 100 Participants in Block A, 150 Participants in Block B, and 80 Participants in Block C, hosting Block A and Block B tournaments on the same day is not allowed under these guidelines since the total number of Participants in a day will exceed 200. However, these guidelines permit hosting Block A and B tournaments on different days since the total number of Participants in a day will not exceed 200 on either day. Hosting Block A and Block C tournaments on the same day is permitted under these guidelines because the total number of Participants in a day would not exceed 200.
Q13. Can school clubs or neighborhood associations host Community Tournaments under these guidelines?
A13. School clubs are organisations; however, they may conduct competitions without requiring a licence, as long as the following conditions are met and they adhere to the stipulations within these guidelines.
Participation in the tournament will not be open to the public, and the Participants will be limited to the members of the school club.
The game tournament can be a standalone head-to-head competition between up to two schools, but will not involve three or more schools, and the tournament will not serve for ranking or qualification for a later tournament or championship.
Any tournaments that meet the above conditions could use the names of the two participating schools or school clubs in their name as long as the schools agree. If the above does not apply to your tournament, or if you are an organisation other than a school, such as a neighborhood association, please apply as specified in Q14. If an individual wishes to use the name of a school or company in the name of a Community Tournament organised by the individual, please see Q5. Schools can also register with and participate in tournaments hosted by licensed partners of Nintendo.
Q14. How can legal entities or organisations host game tournaments using Nintendo games?
A14. For a corporation or organisation to conduct a game tournament using Nintendo games, the corporation or organisation must make a separate application to Nintendo and obtain permission to conduct the game tournament prior to announcing a tournament. A Nintendo licence number will be assigned to the game tournament that Nintendo has separately licensed. It is up to Nintendo’s sole discretion whether or not a licence will be granted to a corporation or organisation. Information and relevant forms to apply will be available in the near future. Please check back soon.
Q15. How can I host a game tournament using Nintendo games as part of a charity activity at my high school?
A15. For students to host a game tournament using Nintendo games as part of their school's charity activities, the school to which the student belongs must make a separate application to Nintendo to obtain permission to conduct the game tournament. Any game tournament that Nintendo has separately licensed will be given a licence number by Nintendo. Information and relevant forms to apply will be available in the near future. Please check back soon.
Q16. What do "tournaments that are illegal or inappropriately conducted or that could be viewed as offensive or otherwise inappropriate" refer to?
A16. Tournaments that are illegal or could be viewed as offensive or otherwise inappropriate include, but are not limited to, tournaments that:
Q17. What exactly are "prohibited items" that cannot be used as prizes?
A17. No goods or services listed below may be offered as prizes at Community Tournaments.
Note that even within the scope permitted by these guidelines, if there are other restrictions imposed by applicable laws on the provision of goods or the price limits for prizing, you must comply with the conditions of those restrictions.
Q18. Under what circumstances would Nintendo request the cancellation of a Community Tournament?
A18. Nintendo may request the cancellation of any Community Tournaments in its sole discretion, including any tournaments that violate or may violate these guidelines, or that Nintendo deems inappropriate. In addition, Nintendo may request the cancellation of a Community Tournament on behalf of a right holder of intellectual property rights other than Nintendo upon receiving a request from such a right holder.
Q19. I’m planning to organise a game tournament, and I made an announcement about it before these guidelines were released. However, Q14 of the guidelines states that I would need to make a separate application and obtain permission to conduct my tournament. The tournament is scheduled to take place after the effective date of these guidelines. Do I need to make a separate application to obtain permission?
A19. For information on whether or not a separate application is required, please see below: