A couple of weeks ago Universal and Nintendo announced plans to “bring the world of Nintendo to life at Universal theme parks” and suffice to say, made a lot of Nintendo fans (myself included) very happy indeed.
At this stage there have been no official plans announced for any of the Universal Parks around the world so this post is merely a fans wish list as to what I would like to see at a Universal Park as a result of this partnership. Before that, let’s ask the question, how did this partnership come about?
Possible reasons behind the Nintendo and Universal Parks Partnership
Although nobody outside of the inner circle of this deal really knows how this partnership came about, it is easy to speculate as to why this has happened. Although Nintendo are still a huge powerhouse in the world of gaming, the release of the Wii U has not quite been the huge success the company wanted. Both the Xbox One and PS4 are this generations consoles of choice for the majority of gamers and despite being ‘one of those people’ that own all three devices, my purchases for the Wii U are few and far between.
In short, Nintendo have been suffering recently with sales and needed to find a way to get the company in front of a different audience. The recent announcement of the company pushing more towards mobile gaming and a new console in the works recently is a testament to this.
Partnering with Universal Parks makes a lot of sense, nobody can say that the Wizarding World of Harry Potter has not been a great success for the parks and one that Universal are continuing to work on when they expand the offering to California in the near future. Universal have a great track record of partnering up with big brands and creating fantastic experiences, Simpsons, Transformers and Marvel to name just a few and Nintendo can clearly see this.
Speculation on what this partnership could result in
Nintendo has one of the biggest and greatest back catalogues of characters and immersive worlds in which Universal could tap into as part of this deal. Although it would be insane to think that Mario would not be involved at some point in the road ahead, Nintendo has plenty of (arguably) more immersive worlds which could be tapped into.
It would be crazy to think that the creation of at least one attraction isn’t on the cards for one of the many Universal Parks locations. Here are just three of my ideas that I think would make a great attraction.
This is one of Nintendo’s greatest and longest standing franchises, imagine taking part in a ‘real life’ Mario Kart where you jump straight into a virtual track and play against other racers in a selection of tracks that changes each time you ride. The technology is there, the interest is there and it is quite easy to see something like this fast becoming one of the most popular attractions at any of the Universal Parks.
Donkey Kong Mine Carts
Imagine an old fashioned wooden rollercoaster with a Donkey Kong theme. Better yet, have the ride inside so that the theming can be done properly with animatronics, jungle scenery and intense turns and drops.
Luigi’s Mansion Horror House
Universal are world famous for their Halloween Horror Nights, imagine a house where the whole family could take part and enjoy, one that is themed on the Luigi’s Mansion franchise. Guests could enter a virtual mansion and wear their own portable hoovers to take on the ghosts of the mansion.
Shops and Dining
A big Nintendo store is a must and an opportunity that neither company is likely to miss out on. The store would of course need to feature merchandise on Nintendo’s flagship titles but would also need to house products based on less known titles that appear only to the most dedicated of fans such as the Kid Icarus and Fire Emblem series.
Of course having access to the Nintendo backlog of characters also opens up some interesting options when it comes to dining. Imagine tucking into a mushroom kingdom burger or a galactic themed drink from the Star Fox series. The theming of the restaurant could work in the same way as The Simpsons dining area currently does as this would allow Universal to tap into multiple games in the same area.
Pulling this deal off could be huge
If Universal and Nintendo can pull this deal off, the results will be fantastic. As the original press release states:
“The agreement brings two icons of entertainment together and represents a significant partnership for Nintendo as it expands the reach and popularity of its characters and intellectual property.
Universal theme parks offer incredibly popular, innovative themed family entertainment experiences based on compelling stories and characters – using powerful storytelling and innovative technology. Nintendo has created remarkable and imaginative worlds filled with captivating stories and beloved characters.”
I have only scratched the surface with the ideas in this post and I think Universal and Nintendo are going to have some very interesting ideas that make it to the parks in the months and years ahead.
What would you like to see happen as a result of this deal? Let us know in the comments and we will feature the best in a future post.