Super Smash Bros. Director Reveals Reason Behind Major Series Change

In Super Smash Bros. Brawl, players were treated to an adventure mode titled The Subspace Emissary. While the first two games in the series lacked much of a storyline, The Subspace Emissary featured a narrative that saw the game’s playable characters meeting and interacting with one another through cutscenes that played out between stages. The whole thing was pretty ambitious, and gave Super Smash Bros. Brawl something unique compared to previous games. While players seemed to enjoy the mode, it was abandoned in future games like Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. In a new video, director Masahiro Sakurai explained why Subspace Emissary has yet to return.

“When making Smash Bros. Brawl, I had the idea to create movie sequences that showcased each individual fighter. Smash Bros. contains crossovers you can’t find anywhere else, so I thought it would be more fun to present them in a more concrete, charming way. I also thought they’d make a nice reward for pushing on in the adventure mode, Subspace Emissary. We put a lot of money and effort into making them,” said Sakurai. “But before the game even came out, people were posting them online. Even overseas media outlets were doing it with the pre-release copies we provided. This meant they really weren’t much of a reward. So, I decided to stop making movies that cut in during gameplay. It’s a tough time to be making story-driven games… knowing people would share these movies, I wanted something not tied to game progress, something that everyone could enjoy- hence, fighter reveals.”

Fighter Reveal Videos Replace Subspace Emissary

Since then, Sakurai and the Smash Bros. team have focused instead on fighter reveal videos, which are crafted with the purpose of being released outside of the game itself. These types of fighter reveals have become a huge hit with the Smash Bros. community, and have proven to be an exciting way for Nintendo to reveal newcomers. Reveals for characters like Banjo-Kazooie, Sephiroth, and Sora have become huge favorites over the years.

In the video, Sakurai talks about how he wrote the plots for nearly all of these fighters reveals himself, with the exception of Pyra/Mythra, which was written by Xenoblade Chronicles developer Monolith Soft.

The Future of Super Smash Bros.

At this time, the future of the Super Smash Bros. series remains a very big mystery. Sakurai considers himself “semi-retired,” and there are all kinds of questions about what will happen for the next game in the series. Since the original Super Smash Bros. released on N64, there has never been a Nintendo console that has not received a new game in the series. If a new Nintendo console releases in the second half of 2024 (as rumors have suggested), we should have an idea of Nintendo’s plans for Super Smash Bros. soon. Hopefully the company won’t keep fans waiting too long before revealing its plans.

Are you disappointed Subspace Emissary hasn’t been back in Super Smash Bros.? Do you think we’ll see a new game in the series soon? Share your thoughts with me directly on Twitter at @Marcdachamp or on Instagram at @Dachampgaming!