There are many constants in the game industry, and one of them is leaks. While fans absolutely love leaks as they offer a glimpse of what’s to come, they provide quite the headache for developers. In the case of Smash Bros. Brawl, leaks ended up changing the course of Smash Bros. history.

In his latest video feature, Masahiro Sakurai opens up about Smash Bros. Brawl’s Subspace Emissary mode. This single-player mode took people through a sprawling story that encapsulated what Smash is all about, and also introduced the many players on the roster. Unfortunately for Sakurai and the crew, story leaks for the mode started cropping up before Brawl launched to the public.

Sakurai says that a lot of time and money went into creating the story scenes in the Subspace Emissary mode, so seeing this content leak online and spoil things for players was quite disheartening. As a matter of fact, this very leak caused Sakurai to completely shift his approach for Smash Bros. titles that followed.

From this point forward, Sakurai stopped creating story-centric content like cut-scenes for Smash Bros. games. Instead, Sakurai opted to fill that story void by crafting reveal videos for Smash Bros. characters, as these were meant to be shared to the public to build excitement, and the chances of these videos leaking to the public prior to their intended release was pretty much non-existent.

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Comments (6)


7M ago

Despite my enormous amount of respect for Sakurai this is one of the dumbest decisions he has ever made. Was he so clueless as to not realize that every second of cutscenes from any game ever is going to inevitably show up on YouTube? It’s going to happen with any game, even the ones where the cutscenes are some of the biggest draws. But if the gameplay is at least decent, most people are going to want to first experience the cutscenes in the context of the game itself so this shouldn’t matter. And despite some big advances in Smash, it’s been sorely lacking in compelling single player content after Brawl as a result of Sakurai’s terrible decision.

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7M ago

Yeah he said this back before Smash For came out.


7M ago


To be fair though there's a thing called too much content. Hell Ultimate may be a case of too much filler due to the vastly expanded roster so much so that it's really difficult to do everything solo in-game due to the massive time sink. Want to beat Classic mode with everyone? That's 89 playthroughs. Want to beat Classic Mode 9.0/9.9 difficulty with everyone? That's 89 additional playthroughs for 178 total playthroughs.

What if Sakurai had another SSB Emissary-esque mode for Ultimate. Could you play that 178 times for 100%? I'd be sick of Smash after 5 repeated playthroughs. Versus/Online versus mode are the primary modes of Smash, not single player.


7M ago


I personally enjoyed Subspace a lot more than any other solo modes that have been in Smash, even though it’s not the deepest gameplay-wise. I’m not a completionist so stuff like completing Classic mode with every single character or collecting every spirit doesn’t really appeal to me. But finishing a story mode that actually has an ongoing story does.

Granted, I know that game development usually involves trade-offs. I think it’s totally fine if Sakurai and the Smash team felt it was better to prioritize having tons of characters and stages over a full story mode because they felt like competitive multiplayer was the true heart of the Smash experience. But “our cutscenes leaked on YouTube and now a few people theoretically might watch them instead of play Subspace Emissary” does not seem like a good rationale for cutting future story modes to me.

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7M ago


As far as I remember you didn't have to beat Subspace Emissary with every character. I only remember the pain and the hours spent trying to turn every enemy into a trophy. And do not get me started on the stickers.

Ultimate's Spirit mode was pretty damn fine even without a compelling story and I 100%ed the game after just 120 hours (LESS time than SSB).


6M ago

At this point, people know Romeo and Juliet kill themselves, Jean Grey was reborn as the Phoenix, Darth Vader is Luke's father, Zelda is Sheik. Doesn't make the source material not worth consuming. Spoilers shouldn't deter somebody from trying to write a good story.