In February, more critical information came to light about Nintendo’s plans in regard to their Universal Studios projects. The initial announcement came more than a year ago, that Nintendo would be expanding into the theme park arena, while broadening the reach of their phenomenal IP. Beyond that news though, we did not quite know to what scale those projects would be…only speculation.
Now, Japanese publication, Sankei West, has shared more details, and Nintendo Everything has provided an English translation.
Universal Studios Japan plans to spend 40 billion yen (should be roughly $350 million if I’m converting correctly!) on Nintendo attractions, which will be housed on the left side of the park’s main gate. The plan is to have the work done by 2020 in time for the Summer Olympics. It’s a large-scale investment – about the same scale as the Harry Potter-themed area that opened in July 2014.
Universal Studios Japan raises its profits by taking a peculiar route where it makes attractions based on not only movies, but also Japanese games and anime, so they have a basic agreement with Nintendo in a cooperative effort to expand business. At first it was assumed that the partnership was going to be only a single Mario-themed attraction, but considering how the investment level is the same as Harry Potter’s, the possibilities are high that the area will be expanded into multiple attractions along with restaurants and goods shops.
Since it’s going to be placed right to the left side of main gate, it’s assumed to be using the area currently used for events. Universal Studios Japan only has some land it can expand into, but since they’re considering to move the area used for offices and staff rooms right next to event area, this space can be secured.
Some of the most interesting things to note, of course, are the fact that a 40 billion yen investment is certainly a true commitment to a large and lasting attraction. Another is the time frame for launch in Japan to commence before the start of the Olympic games in 2020 is encouraging on several fronts. It lets us know that it will not be long before it is opened, and since we know that the property in Orlando, Florida was the initial focus of most of the information prior to this, it is probable that the Universal Orlando property will be completed before the Japanese property, however, it is also possible that the Japanese property will serve as the proving/testing grounds first.
As with most things where, officially, press has yet to be disseminated, we won’t know definitively until a later time. That does not keep us from speculating on those details on our own, though. And sometimes, that is all the fun.
It will be interesting to see what Nintendo does with their Universal Studios attractions, and when they are all available to visit. I am curious to find out, and hopefully there will be more info to share relatively soon.
Are you looking forward to visiting Nintendo’s Universal Studios properties? Are you excited to hear of the scale they are aiming for? Was that the scale you were anticipating? What other things are you hoping to see from Nintendo?
As always, gaming is meant to be fun, so keep gaming!!