Smash community responds after Panda Global CEO steps down amid “security concerns”

alan b steps down as panda global ceoPanda/Twitter/DrAlanB

The Super Smash Bros community says it’s too little too late after Panda Global CEO Alan Bunney stepped down following allegations that he threatened to shut down tournaments not licensed by Nintendo.

The Smash scene was thrown into disarray last week when the Smash World Tour announced that it had been forced to halt its finals after receiving a notice from Nintendo.

In a scathing report, SWT alleged that Nintendo said it expected all tournaments to run with a license and implied that the event would be hit with a cease and desist if it went ahead.

The same report claimed that Panda’s CEO had approached tournament organizers, such as Beyond the Summit to join its officially-licensed Nintendo circuit, Panda Cup, and threatened to shut them down if they didn’t.

Article continues after ad

While both Nintendo and Panda denied the allegations, the damage was done. Ludwig announced his own tournament the day of the Panda Cup Finale which resulted in many players dropping out Panda Cup.

Now, many members of the Panda org have stepped down, including Alan Bunney, though he remains adamant that it’s only for security and safety concerns – something the Smash community isn’t buying.

Panda CEO steps down following Smash World Tour drama

In a couple of statements, Panda Global announced that Bunney would be stepping down and a management committee would work with staff to release anyone of contractual obligations.

They continued to announce the Panda Cup Finale’s postponement, citing “security concerns,” something echoed by Bunney himself.

Article continues after ad

Alan Bunney posted his own message to Twitter where he doubled down on previous statements and accused SWT of lying and BTS of putting the community in “jeopardy.”

“I’ve stepped down as CEO of Panda to protect the safety and wellbeing of the team,” he said, adding that evidence was coming.

His statement was not met with open arms as seemingly everyone turned the other way and wondered why it had taken so long to comment.

“Cooked for 4 days for a teaser, you’ve gotta be kidding me lmao,” replied Thaddeus Crews, a character designer for Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl.

Article continues after ad

Beyond the Summit co-founder David ‘LD’ Gorman also called out the decision: “What is missing from this statement is any mention of Alan divesting his interest in the company… At first blush, this just sounds like damage control and a desperate attempt at grabbing a life raft.”

Others, however, like Ludwig, responded by stating that they were, “Genuinely looking forward to seeing the evidence.”

So far, the evidence has yet to be released, but it seems unlikely anything will repair the relationship Panda once had with the Smash community.