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The new rules include measures such as a cap on 200 participants for in-person tournaments, banning the sale of goods, and the banning of receiving compensation from third-party sponsors.
While these have been subject to criticism online, however, another aspect of the rules may have a more serious impact on a portion of the community.
As highlighted by accessibility advocate Arevya on Twitter, Nintendo’s new rules outlaw the use of third-party controllers, essentially excluding some players with accessibility needs who use their own custom control set-ups.
As part of an FAQ on Nintendo’s new Community Tournament Guidelines, one question asks what could be considered a tournament that is “illegal or could be viewed as offensive or otherwise inappropriate”.
Nintendo lists a number of potential infringements, including the “use of game consoles, accessories and software not licensed by Nintendo”.
In theory, this also means that any controller that has been modded can’t be used during a tournament if it isn’t a stock licensed Nintendo controller.
“If you are not familiar with game accessibility this might not seem like a big deal,” Arevya wrote on Twitter. “But the reason why it is, is because many disabled gamers (like myself) use third party accessories to be able to game.
“This can be anything from controllers you can use with your feet, tools to make the game work with a straw you can blow in to move your character, all the way to 3D printed specialised equipment that let you use a regular Joy-Con or Pro Controller.”
She added: “I can somewhat understand Nintendo’s need to protect their IP, but this is taking it so far that it will exclude children, youth and grown-ups that need accessibility to play games like everyone else.”
Header image credit: AbleGamers