PAX East is no longer underway in Boston, Massachusetts, while the Grand Finals for the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate North America Open 2019 was held at the expo on March 30. The competition allowed the use of Smash Balls, Poké Balls and items – and not everyone was happy about this decision.
In a recent interview with Polygon, Nintendo of America senior director of product marketing Bill Trinen explained the decision: “Certainly with Smash Bros., you’ve got a very clearly established competitive rule set that all of the pros are using. But the game is designed in a way that there’s a lot of different ways to play. And with the number of people that play online, we know that people play with a lot of different rule sets, [with] items on and things like that. So one of the things we wanted to do with the North American Open was to really make this about trying to attract as many people who don’t normally play in tournaments.”
“With over 10,000 people having been a part of the online tournament, we really think that that approach is drawing in new players. Some of them are people that play competitively but don’t really make it into those top tiers of at some of those larger tournaments. And so it’s both giving them an opportunity to shine. But you’re also seeing some people who are really just kind of new to the competitive scene as well.”
Trinen also confirmed that Nintendo will work with Evo once again this year: “We’ve worked with Evo in the past through a partnership perspective and plan to do the same as well this year. Obviously with that being a little bit further out, we don’t have any detailed plans right now but we are going to look at what opportunities we have to work with them.”
“For us, one of the main things that we want to try to do is broaden the audience as much as possible and also try to support where we can in terms of growing the number of people that are going to tournaments and growing the number of people that are watching tournaments. [We’ll] be focused a bit in those areas. But hopefully we’ll have some other opportunities to work together with Evo in a variety of different ways.”
Source: Nintendo Everything