Despite being a little behind the curve in terms of console power, Nintendo has always been willing to find new ways to connect with its all-ages target demographic. The Wii offered a variety of casual, motion-based experiences that made gamers out of consumers who would usually be considered far too old or too young for the video game market. With the help of a new partnership with Universal Studios, it sounds like Nintendo is about to find another venue to expand its brand outside of traditional gaming.
Nintendo fans have all raced around Rainbow Road and visited all the attractions in Nintendo Land, but starting in the near future, fans will now be able to jump on a Nintendo-themed ride in the real world. The new partnership between Nintendo and Universal will bring Nintendo-themed rides and attraction to Universal Studios parks.
Nintendo announced the plans in a press release and explained that the goal is to bring the most recognizable Nintendo properties to thrill seekers at amusement parks…
“The immersive experiences will include major attractions at Universal’s theme parks and will feature Nintendo’s most famous characters and games – creating spectacular, dedicated experiences based on Nintendo’s wildly popular games, characters and worlds.”
Nintendo has mentioned the desire to move into the theme park world in the past, but this will be the first concrete step in that direction. Nintendo turned an annual profit last year for the first time since 2011, so this does seem like a logical time for the company to take the potential risk for the chance at continued brand awareness and growth.
It is important to note that this announcement is not confirmation of a Nintendo-themed amusement park. For now, fans will just be seeing Nintendo rides and attractions incorporated into existing Universal Studios parks.
Specific details about the upcoming plans were few and far between in the press release. Nintendo did not announce a timeline for the project or what kind of “immersive experiences” the team plans on creating. Creating theme park attractions isn’t usually a very quick tasks and in the past we’ve seen these kind of projects take years to complete for other Universal or Disney park attractions.
Any guesses about what the rides will be are complete speculation for now, but it seems like a very safe bet that Mario will make an appearance. As for other characters and worlds, it’s likely that we could see inspiration come from Zelda, Pokemon, Mario Kart, or any of the other Nintendo exclusives. A Pokemon Snap ride seems like the perfect alternative to a Rainbow Road rollercoaster for the less hardcore park visitors, doesn’t it?
What Nintendo-themed attractions would you like to see come to Universal Studios parks? Let us know in the comments.