Nintendo responds to sexual-misconduct allegations in the fighting-game scene

Super Smash Bros. publisher says "We stand with the victims."



Last week, the fighting-game community was rocked by allegations of sexual misconduct against Evolution Championship Series CEO Joey Cuellar. Evo announced that it was placing Cuellar on administrative leave pending a third-party investigation.

Several game publishers then announced that they were pulling their games from the event, including NetherRealm (Mortal Kombat 11) and Capcom (Street Fighter V).

Evo subsequently revealed that this year’s tournament—which had previously been moved to an online format in response to COVID-19—had been cancelled altogether.

In a tweet, event organizers said that Cuellar’s role will now be filled by Tony Cannon, and that Cuellar “will no longer be involved in Evo in any capacity. We are currently working towards his complete separation from the company and have relieved him of all his responsibilities.”

It was a rough week for the fighting-game scene in general, but it hit the Super Smash Bros. scene particularly hard. Allegations surfaced against a number of people, including one well-known commentator.

In response, Super Smash Bros. publisher Nintendo issued a statement to IGN late last week that read:

At Nintendo, we are deeply disturbed by the allegations raised against certain members of the competitive gaming community. They are absolutely impermissible. We want to make it clear that we condemn all acts of violence, harassment, and exploitation against anyone and that we stand with the victims.

This story is clearly far from over.

I have done a lot of different things over the course of my life and professional career. I have interviewed Oscar and Grammy winners and written cover stories for glossy newsstand magazines. I have played guitar in a rock band on national TV and run an independent music label for which I wrote all of the PR and marketing materials. In my spare time, I sweated out a novel about a world where raccoons are kings and dragons are real.

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