The Super Smash Bros. games, like many Nintendo games, have had to deal with leaks from all over. It got so bad that very few outlets were able to get The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom early. Even though the entire game leaked online, Nintendo has been doing its best to keep leakers from getting ahead.
So Masahiro Sakurai decided his team’s hard work wouldn’t go unappreciated by people leaking videos online. He decided that he would no longer make fighter cutscenes for the games. This is why Ultimate has less than 20 minutes’ worth of cutscenes. That number goes down to 10 minutes if you don’t count the intro, tutorial, and credits.
He detailed this and more in his latest video. Honestly, it makes a lot of sense because the team works so hard to make these just to have them spoiled by leakers with no shame. Many leakers just want updoots on Reddit or to feel cool for all of 20 minutes at a time by ruining the work of others.
Even Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 dealt with this. I can’t tell you how many people I saw leaking the gameplay on Reddit for clout just because they got review copies. Review copies are a deal between the developer and the reviewer, and using them for leaks is just disgusting. I don’t have anything but contempt for those who would abuse that trust just because they want internet points.
While that sounds pretty awful, it made the team think of a new way to approach the fighter reveals. Instead of the fighter being revealed through cutscenes in-game, Sakurai decided to use the reveal videos for marketing. This is why we have so many fighter reveal videos during Nintendo Direct and E3. They were so well-liked that it was clear they’d be good enough to be in marketing.
I love those fighter reveal videos even though I stopped playing Smash after Brawl was released. Sakurai’s idea to use them as trailers for fighters was brilliant and some of the best marketing I’ve ever seen. Plus, the reaction videos to each one are pretty intense.