Nintendo President Explains Lack of Prize Money For Smash Bros. Esports
Nintendo President Shuntaro Furukawa discusses why they don't offer prize money during their Super Smash Bros. Ultimate esport competitions.
In a report from publication VGC, Nintendo President Shuntaro Furukawa explains why the company doesn’t offer prize money at their esports tournaments. As compared to companies like Capcom or Riot Games, Nintendo is notably absent from helping fund Super Smash Bros. competitions at events like EVO.
According to the Nikkei interview translated by Japanese Nintendo, Furukawa-san believes that not funding these competitions is instead a show of strength for the brand:
Esports is where players compete on stage while revolving around prize money, and spectators enjoy watching that. It launches one of the most amazing appeals of video games. But there is no sense of antagonism. In order to make our company’s games be played be a broad range of people, regardless of experience, gender, or generation, we also want to make our events joinable by a broad range of people. Being able to to have a different world view from companies — without a large sum of money — is our strength.
During EVO 2019, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate finalist Leonardo “MKLeo” Lopez Perez won $21,180 from a $35,000 prize pool. This prize pool is comparatively less than Street Fighter V‘s $70,000 prize pool and the Samurai Showdown prize of $47,000.
“Nintendo’s failure to provide prize money and stability for the competitive community is the only thing keeping Smash Ultimate and Melee from being a top tier esport,” says Twitter verified esport consultant Rod Bresalu. Additionally, Bresaly says in a tweet that the person who made eighth place in the Smash Ultimate competition didn’t earn enough prize money to afford their hotel room for the event:
beating out thousands of players at the biggest fighting game tournament in the world to reach Top 8 at EVO in Tekken ($180) or Smash ($350) didn't even earn you enough money to cover a weekend hotel room at Mandalay Bay
if Capcom and NRS can do it, Nintendo and Namco can too
— Rod Breslau (@Slasher) August 5, 2019
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate released in December 2018 and went onto sell over 16 million units worldwide. Since its launch, the game has received DLC characters such as Persona 5‘s Joker, Dragon Quests’ Hero, Banjo-Kazooie‘s protagonist Banjo-Kazooie, and King of Fighters‘ Terry Bogard. Additionally, the fifth DLC character is yet to be revealed and more fighters will release after that.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is available now on Nintendo Switch; feel free to grab it on Amazon to support the site. As more details get revealed about its upcoming DLC fighters, we’ll be sure to let you know. In the meantime, check out the final match for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate from EVO 2019, below: