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Panda CEO departs after Smash Bros. tournament sabotage allegations

Following last week's allegations from Smash World Tour, Panda Global announced it would undergo an internal restructuring.

Justin Carter, Contributing Editor

December 5, 2022

2 Min Read
Screenshot from Nintendo's Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.

Panda Global announced on Twitter its CEO Alan Bunney has departed the company, effective immediately. His leaving, according to Panda, is part of an internal restructuring following last week's allegations of sabotage from Smash World Tour

Last week, the organizers of Smash World Tour (SWT) published a blog post alleging that its intended Super Smash Bros. championship that would've taken place this week (and the subsequent 2023 circuit) were both cancelled by Nintendo. 

SWT claimed that the cancellations were partially brought on by Bunney, who reportedly told various organizers the tournament had been shut down and threatened retaliation if they continued to support SWT. 

When informed of Bunney's behavior by SWT, Nintendo said it would evaluate the relationship it had with Panda that first began in 2021, but there were reportedly no consequences. Following SWT's claims, both Nintendo and Panda published statements in support of each other and denying the allegations.

Smash Bros. players who were originally meant to appear at Panda's tournament subsequently resigned in support of Smash World Tour, along with various content creators who were signed with the company.

In the wake of Bunney's departure, Panda announced it would be working with third-party advisors to form an Interim Management Committee (IMC) as temporary CEO. Additionally, its Panda Cup, which was originally meant to occur December 16 (a week after SWT's intended tournament), has been postponed.

"The identities of those in the IMC will not be made public at this time due to concerns over harassment and safety," wrote Panda.

Panda also affirmed that its IMC would work with employees who wished to depart or get out of their contract, and additionally work to find them another organization. 

Stating it wishes to do its part to push the Super Smash Bros. community going forward, Panda concluded its statement with a promise to conduct "an internal restructure and rededication to our values as members of this community. 

About the Author(s)

Justin Carter

Contributing Editor, GameDeveloper.com

A Kansas City, MO native, Justin Carter has written for numerous sites including IGN, Polygon, and SyFy Wire. In addition to Game Developer, his writing can be found at io9 over on Gizmodo. Don't ask him about how much gum he's had, because the answer will be more than he's willing to admit.

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