As part of Nintendo’s ongoing plan to extend the usage of its very valuable intellectual property, it seems that the company will be teaming up with Universal to bring us some new theme park attractions.
The plan is to have Nintendo themed areas added to Universal Studios Japan, Universal Orlando Resort and Universal Studios Hollywood. In these new areas, visitors will be able to feel like they are inside their favorite games and that the emphasis is on making these attractions accessible to all, regardless of age or gaming experience.
To be honest, this is a really smart move, especially in Japan. Theme parks in Japan are an immense business and Nintendo has a huge amount of cultural currency here.
Places like Tokyo Disney have a big impact on how people perceive and interact with Disney’s wide array of characters. So it would make sense that an attraction at a Universal theme park would have similar kind of reaction, if not more so.
Unlike in the West, gaming has no real social stigma in Japan and in many ways Disney and Nintendo are regarded similarly in terms of their pop-cultural effect. So to have some Nintendo attractions at a Universal theme park is a smart first step to building a full fledged Nintendo Land.
Of all the ideas to leverage Nintendo’s intellectual property, this is probably the most cogent. Games are inherently interactive by nature and there’s a strong link there to how theme parks operate.
While I think teaming up with Hollywood for a variety of Nintendo related films is still a very bad idea, going down the theme park route makes a lot more sense.
Details as to when these attractions will start to appear at Universal theme parks are currently unknown but this is definitely a step in the right direction for Nintendo.
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