Ex-Nintendo Marketing Expert Says Super Smash Bros. Melee At EVO Is A “Dangerous” Brand

super_smash_bros_melee_charactersBack in July, there was major gamer outcry when Nintendo of America pulled the Super Smash Bros. Melee Tournament stream from EVO 2013. They soon rectified the issue after fans clamoured for the stream to be uploaded, but it was a difficult situation for Nintendo to be placed in, so says former Nintendo marketing employee Kyle Mercury.

In an interview with Not Enough Shaders, Mercury speaks about working for Nintendo of America during the GameCube era – as he worked for the company between 2001 and 2007 – but he also sheds light on what might have been NoA’s decision to shut down the stream in the first place, admitting that Super Smash Bros. Melee is a “dangerous” brand for them. Let us know what you think of Mercury’s opinion in the comments below.

“From a Promotional perspective the game is almost always a guaranteed victory, it’s easy mode. People love Smash, period. In this respect, it tends to swallow nearly all other titles it’s placed alongside. Even during the Wii launch, Smash Melee would still draw huge crowds at events if it was fired up, pulling eyes and critical impressions away from newer Wii and DS titles. As that relates to EVO, the decision doesn’t really seem to make much sense and from what I’ve heard it was more a miscommunication between the parties involved. On the other hand, highlighting a 12-year-old game from a console two full generations ago isn’t exactly going to lead to improved sales numbers. People always say “It’s free promotion!”, but that’s like using a Gameboy Advance SP to promote the 3DS. It was great at the time, but it’s not doing you any favors in 2013.

“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. 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.”


95 thoughts on “Ex-Nintendo Marketing Expert Says Super Smash Bros. Melee At EVO Is A “Dangerous” Brand”

  1. The guy speaks the truth. The way it was handled was just really bad. Nintendo copped all the flak, when in reality if it was a simple miscommunication, that’s the fault of the EVO organisers, not Nintendo. They should have remained more vigilant in chasing up the do’s and do not’s.

    Anyway, that’s the unpopular opinion, lest the right one.

      1. If you come home drunk with the opinion that the sun has suddenly changed colors from yellow to blue, I’m going to call you wrong no matter how insistent you are on your “opinion” being right.XD

    1. How is it EVO organizers’ fault when it was Nintendo who decided to slap them with a C&D. Other gaming companies like Capcom, Netherrealm, Atlus, Namco all INSTEAD partner with EVO. EVO was simply broadcasting people competing in Smash, not like they used Nintendo property for sale. This is akin to using a Wilson volleyball for a volleyball match, then Wilson calls you and says you can’t.

      1. The ruckus was over the streaming. It all falls back on whether the stream was monetised or not. Did EVO disclose this to Nintendo? If yes, then how did they disclose it? Where was the miscommunication thereafter?

        It’s pretty simple. Where do you think the whole thing exploded in relation to monetised LP’s using Nintendo IP?

    2. “Nintendo can make a fighting game with Mario beating Peach with a bat and sell it to millions of people, but we can’t SHOW millions of people because clearly there’s a big enoug difference between the two.”

      No. It’s not the right one. t’s stupid to assume that people might get the wrong idea with some of the most popular video game franchises in the world.

  2. FUCK NINTENDO WII U!!!!! XBOX IS THE WAY TO GO!!! OLD GENS IS EVEN STRONGER THAN THIS PIECE OF FUCK DOG SHIT!!

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    1. Someone IP hunt this cunt and put him out of his misery. Ill glady put one of these trolls down to make an example out of them

    2. Shame, you turned from troll to retard with a simple finger snap. It’s ok to have your hopes crushed, because the Xbox one will never outsell the Wii U. Fail troll is fail LOL.

    3. It’s people like you that have made Youtube put a comment size limit on their videos. Also people like you who made the Captcha’s necessary on every forum registration…. You are the reason so many wonderful things are being ruined with new security all the time….

    4. Here’s what I just learned about you:
      1) You’re immature
      2) A blind fanboy
      3) Plain wrong

      And if this is later claimed to be a joke, just know you gave me a cramp scrolling down.

      P.S. You never got to o, g, s, h, *, or t.

  3. I don’t think anyone’s image of cute little Pikachu and the rest has changed since Smash. The Smash series even though they borrow from all other major Nintendo IPs has created its own identity, and nothing gets mixed up as far as I’ve noticed.

  4. Now we know why nintendo did not require his marketing expertise beyond 2007. Nintendo made a fighter in Melee, so they knew full well that people would see daisy and peach duke it out. Keep judging evo and the other nerdy competitions.

  5. Dangerous? as it it makes brawl look like shit and probably still a better smash game than smash 4 is going to be? Yeah i can see how that would look dangerous on nintendo needing to put out better games.

  6. I totally agree with the “free advertisement” being completely outdated. However I’m not so sure about Nintendo having to “protect their brands from being so violent'” I mean, that’s the core concept of the game. If you didt want your franchise to be portrayed as violent why put them all in a fighting game?

    1. When do you ever see a Nintendo title at Esports? Now they got a title that promotes Nintendo and it ain’t free advertisement? They are whining because Sakurai made a superb title and Brawl hasn’t reached the same potential popularity wise. I’m sure Brawl has done well in sales and SSB Wii U will do the same. Plus Melee’s popularity won’t harm other franchises or genres. I’d reckon it will probably boost popularity of the games the characters feature in. And because of Melee’s popularity, smash bros is here to stay.

      1. “Brawl hasn’t reached the same potential popularity wise.”

        Brawl is a lot more popular than Melee, and not simply because it sold the best. Melee is only more popular amongst the competitive crowd.

        1. Actually, I have friends so prefer Melee over Brawl anyway because they feel the gameplay pace was a bit slower and plus, I hate that fucking tripping nonsense Nintendo did in Brawl.

  7. “one-sided, so inconsiderate of what the company has to deal with to protect their brands, and just generally uninformed” I’ve never seen this behavior out of people before. People are always respectful of the intricacies of running a giant video game company, and never get on stupid ignorant hate bandwagons treating them like they’re destroying the world with their meticulously designed products.

  8. AlphaOmegaSin did a wonderful video on Youtube about this, but the truth is no one understood the decision. We understood the reversal, but not the initial decision. there was more than likely something going on behind the scenes that was intricate, legal, and long-winded. I just give Nintendo the benefit of the doubt. Both sides made a misstep, and they corrected it. To me, that’s the end.

  9. It goes to show you how great a game this was and still is! Nintendo should release this on the Wii U e-shop to help boost sales (and so I can play this game again). A simple digital release of this game would sell, a lot!!

    Here’s an equation that explains everything:
    Fans = Happy
    *when this is true then
    Nintendo = Money

    This can also be a way for Nintendo to promote the new Smash Bros., by bringing (in many people’s opinion including my own) the best Smash Bros. game to the current generation!

    Sidenote: I never sold the Melee game and never will. I just don’t have a Wii or Gamecube any more and it doesn’t work with the Wii U! :(

  10. I see where he’s coming from, but I disagree with it. If they wanted to protect their brand, why make the game in the first place? The franchise is hugely popular and it will probably be a system seller.

    I believe that he is correct about the reason to exclude the streaming is more complicated than them just not wanting it out there for whatever stupid reason non-Nintendo fanboys want can come up with.

  11. All Nintendo has to do is, make Super Smash Bros Melee HD REMASTERED WiiU EDITION with some multiplayer online. Then your WiiU’s are gonna fly off the shelves. Not gonna happen in a million years I know.

    1. Wii U’s are not going to fly off the shelves from Super Smash Bros. Melee. Brawl was a lot more successful. Wii U’s will fly off the shelves from the newest Smash Bros. game

  12. If this guy even watched EVO, and knew it was way more about skill than violence, It be nice. Showing off old games isnt bad at all. Its like saying hey check out Mother 1, its awesome. Then drop the bomb, hey guys! you liked that game? check out the all new one coming soon! Builds hype. This is why marketing degrees are stupid easy to get in college.

  13. I swear to god I if I had the chance I would murder every troll on this page, I don’t give a fuck tell the police, I will murder everyone of you annoying xbox one faggots that come here to troll. Would I murder you over games or cause not. I would murder you because you faggots don’t have decency enough to leave people the fuck alone but keep pushing and commenting. Keep thinking your safe behind your screen, I gurantee you will have your day.

    1. I don’t know about killing. Maybe mental therapy? We need to get to the root of their obsessive compulsive disorder which relates to them telling lies like “XBOX ONE IS DA BES YOU F***AS!!!!! TOO MUC RAYM ND POLIGKNZ!!!!!!!” and “WII U IS A KIID TUY PS4 A**ES GO JUM OF CLI ONE AL DA WYYY!!!” every few seconds on multiple websites and YouTube videos.

  14. “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.”

    WHAT!?!? This is utter nonsense. Let’s take a look at some children in their bedroom with some of their favorite toys. They have Leonardo and Red Ranger flying about as they pummel the evil ways of Donatello and He-Man. There is no image distruction, just fan fiction fun. I am also sure that the fighting in these children’s imaginations are much more violent than the animations of Smash.

  15. Never in my life would I have been able to think up an actual reason why Nintendo would not want SSBM at EVO… Somehow this guy did, but it kinda doesn’t make sense to me. If they were afraid of broadcasting Mario punching Peach than they probably should hve taken into account that YOUTUBE exists…💋

    1. I agree. If he is trying to say that the people watching EVO streams also have never seen Smash beforehand… well that actually leaves me quite baffled.

  16. I’m glad this is an Ex-Nintendo Marketing Expert. He doesn’t seem to know what he’s talking about. First of all, a fighting game with Nintendo’s characters isn’t going to change their games. Secondly, even though Melee is old, it will still raise interest toward Smash Bros Wii U/3DS because it is the same franchise.

  17. The answer to that problem is really easy:

    Make the Next Smash Bros game BETTER than MELEE.

    The reason why people choose to play MELEE or Brawl is because MELE is a more balance and competitive game, you know, what a fighting game it is supposed to be.

  18. How is this even an argument?? If Nintendo didn’t want Mario punching Peach in the face, then they shouldn’t have made a game where it’s possible for Mario to punch Peach in the face. Anyone who thinks this is actually a legit argument is dumb.

    1. It’s the context, man, the context. The game by itself is free from any associations to violent fighting games, but when you start associating it with other fighting games in an immediate context like the EVO, then the perception of it changes, and Nintendo doesn’t want that.

  19. “Our communication department sucks, so we will rob you of an event you earned in the most epic way possible because we fear you will outshine us”

    Well, too bad, Big N. We did outshine you by rallying the whole fucking internet against your lawyers. Now step up your shit and give us trailers to be mindblown by so we have another reason to throw money at you.

  20. I say Bullcrap, if EVO makes Super Smash Bros Melee popular, they same exposures might interest people in buying new SSBU, more exposure is more exposure, period.

  21. Just release the game on the Virtual Console for Wii U so that the free exposure would lead to people buying it again.

  22. Nintendo, you need a serious reality recheck.

    You calling your own popular game dangerous just because your own fans and other media loved it? So what the hell is the point of creating video games then if that’s your logic now next to removing Story Mode from Smash Bros. 4 because of a tournament stream due to it’s popularity? The temporary stupidity right there baffles me so much that I refuse to hear more of it.

    You need to learn how to let loose and let people enjoy your games the way they want. Don’t go turn Microsoft with DRM on us right now or it’ll be the death of your company. Focus on what’s more important like how to win your respect back with Wii U and deal with real crooks who pirate your games. Evo has no problems with other companies streaming their games almost without special permission but you. That’s saying something right there. Time to grow up Nintendo. I love you guys but these days you’re just losing your minds slowly to nonsense.

  23. All I hear from that guy was “Nintendo makes non-violent game for children and Melee is too hard and violent for children.”

  24. I played the original to death, then reached Melee. Still didn’t get over it. It’s the best Smash Bros experience. For me there’s no reason to play brawl that much, altough I played it a bit for the online, but the WiiU version I’m not even excited for. Melee is just that good. They should just release it for the WiiU’s virtual console with online support.

  25. Not sure if the big N actually tried stopping this or it was just this guy that didn’t but this is very stupid.

    First of all, promoting this fighting game will not change anything like others say, it’s just an addition game that made more fans happy and helped Nintendo. My god, Copyright or whatever “law” was supposed to promote works, not stop them for some stupid belief of “fighting is bad bad bad”, because it’s supposed to be about the fans enjoying the series. Not about beliefs from the company that just attacks fans who enjoy things.

    God, making this game popular is not going to hurt anything, and stopping this would clearly prevent free speech of promoting it.

    The really sad thing is that this reminds me of some project from some other fandom that had “Fighting is Magic” taken down and some article claimed it was dangerous to allow it (I think) when it’s really not. Even if “so”, it’s better than nothing because monopolizing fans is much worse. Sorry if I wrote too much.

  26. Since no one really knows what happen why even care? A mistake was maid and was fixed. Communication is all it took to fix this. I really dout Nintendo changed there minds because of fans being upset. It was most likely being resolved before people started freaking out. We will never really know.

  27. Media exposure is media exposure, if Iron Man was playing a Nintendo system in an Iron Man movie, half the people who watched it would go buy one.

  28. Nintendo is just pissed off about the fact that they still can’t make a better game than something they released 13 years ago. If Nintendo made a new line of Gamecube controllers they would make a fucking killing instead of their stupid shit motion sensors and touch pads. I loved Nintendo until Wii came out, now they suck and don’t care about their fan base. They are all about mass appeal now and are just praying for the time to come when all the melee discs break, the cubes run out of steam and the last controller has its inputs broken.

    1. This article is stupid as hell. They have no concern keeping their “brand” the people playing melee are the ones who are dedicated to it not all the Nintendo Wii casuals. You are not right nor is nintendo and suggesting it was EVOs fault is so ludicrous its not even funny. Once again we have more people who are loyal to money instead of dedicated gamers.

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