Nintendo didn’t just stop ignoring the competitive Super Smash Bros. community — it is actively going after them with multiple events.
Nintendo revealed this morning that it will hold an open competition for its upcoming four-player brawler during the upcoming comic-book gathering at its offsite “gaming lounge” at the Marriott Marquis & Marina hotel. Starting at noon on July 25, preliminary rounds begin, with four fighters playing at the same time. The winner moves on. In the later rounds, Nintendo has players facing off against each other 1-on-1. That means, if you hope to compete, you’ll need to prepare a strategy for the frenzied four-player fights as well as head-to-head battles. This is the latest attempt by Nintendo to tap into the dedicated competitive-gaming scene to promote Super Smash Bros.
The publisher first held an official invitational tournament for the upcoming Wii U version of the fighter during the Electronic Entertainment Expo trade show in Los Angeles in June. That attracted 2,000 fans to watch the best Smash players in the world compete at the Nokia Theater. Thousands more watched online. Nintendo isn’t just holding its own events. The company is embracing the fighting-game community by sponsoring the big Evolution 2014 tournament, which starts this weekend and is the most important event in this community.
The Comic-Con event should also attract huge crowds. While fans are more excited about the Wii U version, the 3DS Smash Bros. hits a few months earlier on Oct. 3. Those huge crowds likely mean that spots should fill up fast, and Nintendo warns that it has limited space. You can show up to the Marriott early on the morning of July 25 to sign up.
Super Smash Bros. for 3DS and Wii U is one of Nintendo’s most-important upcoming releases. The publisher has struggled to generate profit over the last few quarters, and Smash Bros. has potential to help turn that around. The Wii U was especially struggling. Despite having a year longer on the market, Sony’s PlayStation 4 — which debuted in November — has already outsold Nintendo’s home console. Things have started to slowly turn around for Wii U. Mario Kart 8 debuted to positive reviews, and its sales surpassed 2 million in one month. Nintendo also came out of E3 with a lot of buzz. To maintain that momentum, Smash Bros. will have to come out and please its dedicated audience as well as more casual fans.