Nintendo already made its own virtual theme park with Nintendo Land

Ever since admitting to itself—and its investors—that licensing out its characters would probably be a good idea, Nintendo has been linked with one external project after another. First came rumors of a Zelda show on Netflix, which were denied by Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata. Then came smartphone games. Now comes the news that it’s partnering with Universal to create Nintendo-based attractions at the company’s theme parks. Details like what these attractions will be and at which of Universal’s several parks they will appear were not announced. Nor does it sound like either company has a good handle on those answers quite yet, as teams from both camps are now working “to create specific concepts,” according to the announcement.

Universal has experience with adapting video games into, to use its terminology, “innovative themed family entertainment experiences.” Over the last several years, its Osaka park has worked with Capcom for attractions based on Resident Evil and Monster Hunter. These have taken the shape of one-off experiences and exhibits that change from year to year. For example, the current Resident Evil attraction is a riff on “Escape The Room” games, but it was previously a haunted house where visitors use fake guns to shoot people dressed as zombies. From the sounds of it, this Nintendo partnership would be more substantial and could pop up at multiple parks. After all, Universal’s going to need something to replace Orlando’s “Marvel Super Hero Island,” should Disney ever figure out a way to pull the plug on that deal.

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