Smash Bros’ Sakurai criticizes game trailers on Steam without gameplay footage

Scott Baird
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The creator of the Super Smash Bros. series has criticized video game trailers that don’t show gameplay footage, especially the ones on Steam.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate will go down as having some of the best trailers in history, with characters like Sephiroth from Final Fantasy VII and Sora from Kingdom Hearts having some of the most hype promo videos in all gaming.

A company doesn’t necessarily need gameplay footage in its trailer to get fans hyped. The original Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice and Elden Ring promos lacked gameplay footage, while Dead Island’s original trailer was a cinematic video, which had almost nothing to do with the final product.

Super Smash Bros. creator Masahiro Sakurai is responsible for creating some incredible trailers in the modern era, and he has strong opinions about how other studios and publishers should handle their promotional material.

Sakurai wants gameplay footage in Steam trailers

In the latest episode of Masahiro Sakurai on Creating Games, he discusses his thoughts on game trailers. He calls out trailers that feature too many company logos, spend too long building up the story, and, most importantly, don’t feature enough (or any) gameplay footage.

Sakurai calls out the trailers featured on Steam pages for not showing any gameplay footage, asking creators to “Please don’t do that!”

Sakurai mentioned that it’s forgivable for early teaser trailers to get by on no gameplay footage if it belongs to a famous name. After all, that’s what he did with Joker in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, as well as when an ARMS character was first announced, who later turned out to be Min Min.

But if a game is available to buy or pre-order, then there should be footage that accurately represents the game on digital storefronts. Indeed, the recent The Day Before fiasco shows how easy it can be for developers to promote a game with misleading trailers.

Sakurai has a point with trailers on the Steam store, but it also applies to the likes of PSN and the Nintendo eShop. Developers should always ensure prospective buyers can easily check out what a game looks like before spending any cash.

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