Universal Parks and Resorts has partnered with Nintendo to create attractions based on the world-famous Nintendo video game properties. No details on what specific plans for attractions are, but we can speculate that things like rides and costumed characters will be part of the package.
“Now, for the first time, those stories and characters will be brought to life in entirely new ways – only at Universal theme parks,” Universal announced. “The immersive experiences will include major attractions at Universal’s theme parks and will feature Nintendo’s most famous characters and games.”
This new agreement is part of Nintendo’s efforts to expand their brand outside of their familiar video games market strategies. Earlier this year, Nintendo shocked the video gaming world by parenting with mobile games developer DeNA to bring Nintendo IP to smartphones and tablets, something they’d been against for years. Rumors about a Netflix series based on the Zelda franchise have also been kicked around, however that idea might be dead by now.
I’ve always felt Nintendo’s mythology is one of the most developed in the cartoon world. Their deep line-up of characters and worlds lend themselves nicely to a theme park setting. Picture a Mario Kart roller coaster or bumper car ride with big, animatronic Thwomps blocking your way as your car narrowly misses their pound attacks. Or maybe a Space Mountain-type ride with a Super Mario Galaxy aesthetic that blasts you off through the galaxy, twisting you around different mini planets. And you can’t tell me that a live Animal Crossing village with all the random cat, dog, bunny and elephant-faced villagers wouldn’t be the cutest thing in the world!
Nintendo has a lot of placed they can take their IP. Right now, they’re riding on nostalgia from older folks who remember playing Mario and Zelda as a kid, and poor sales of the Wii U shows that. If Nintendo is going to survive, they need to cater their message for a younger audience so a new generation of Nintendo lovers can grow.