Ben Kuchera, Polygon:
Universal has theme parks in Orlando, Hollywood, Japan and Singapore, and it’s currently unknown which parks will be getting these attractions, or what the attractions with entail. The most recent large addition to Universal Orlando was the well-received Wizarding World of Harry Potter, and the addition of Nintendo characters and rides could be a potent weapon against the competing Disney resorts.
It sounds like we’re going to have to wait a bit more details. “The immersive experiences will include major attractions at Universal’s theme parks and will feature Nintendo’s most famous characters and games,” the press release said. “More details will be announced in the future, as the Nintendo and Universal creative teams work to create specific concepts.”
After the success of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, I trust Universal to do a respectable job with Nintendo’s IP. While I often daydream about a dedicated Nintendo theme park, I don’t belive their IP alone is enough to engross visitors for a full day.
My wife’s immediate reaction: “Legoland is screwed.” Interesting that Universal seems to be playing LEGOs own game: license out massive, mixed brand IP for a variety of experiences, personalities, and worlds under a single umbrella.
I’d comfortably say that since the early 2000s, Disney resorts felt like the only go-to theme park destinations. Today there is certainly more reason to divide time bewteen multiple resorts.
With Disney’s admission prices skyrocketing, the inclusion of Marvel and Star Wars, Tomorrowland and Jungle Cruise films launching, and Universal’s expansion of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter married with Nintendo attractions, the theme park industry is in for exciting times.
Also, very fun to watch Nintendo’s rapid expansion outside of the dedicated console video game market. For a company who’s traditionally been set on a singular market, they’ve certainly made some very quick moves outside of their comfort zone.