Shigeru Miyamoto promises fun for theme park guests not just in Japan, but also California and Florida.
You may have to go pretty far back in your memory banks to find it, but can you remember the first time you picked up a Super Mushroom in a Super Mario game? Can you recall that feeling of wonder as the heroic plumber suddenly grew in size?
That’s basically what’s happening with the partnership between Nintendo and Universal Studios Japan.
The video game developer and Osaka branch of the movie-themed amusement park first announced a vague alliance in 2015, and then last spring we found out that Nintendo’s games weren’t just going to serve as the inspiration for a single attraction, but a whole section to be added to the park. Shortly thereafter, we learned that Universal Studios Japan would be pumping some 50 billion yen (US$442 million) into the project, more than it spent on its immensely impressive Wizarding World of Harry Potter section.
And now comes the partnership’s biggest power-up yet, as Nintendo has officially announced that it’s not just Universal Studios Japan that’ll be getting Nintendo attractions, but also the U.S.’s Universal Studios Hollywood and Orlando.
The announcement video features legendary game designer Shigeru Miyamoto, father of the Super Mario and Legend of Zelda franchises. Miyamoto almost always has a smile on his face, but he seems particularly pleased with the progress of the upscaled undertaking.
Since Nintendo’s brightly polished titles strongly appeal to young kids and old-school gamers alike, fans will be happy to hear Miyamoto report “We are working very hard to create attractions that can be equally enjoyable to anybody regardless of age.”
Also appearing in the video is Universal Creative’s Mark Woodbury, who’s far less well-known than Miyamoto among the video gaming community. However, he also drops an important bit of information, when he says:
“As we continued to develop [the project with Nintendo], that world became more immersive and more involved and more colorful and more exciting, and more interactive.”
That last word is key, since Universal Studio’s partnership with Nintendo has a crucial difference from its movie-based tie-ins. Whereas movies are a passive experience for the audience, video games provide their greatest enjoyment by being played, so it’s heartening to know that Woodbury recognizes the importance of giving guests opportunities to interact with the Nintendo attractions that will be showing up at Universal Studios parks in both Japan and the U.S.
Unfortunately, the video doesn’t go into detail about whether Universal Studios Hollywood and Orlando will be getting their own Nintendo area expansions, like Osaka is, or whether they’ll simply be adding Nintendo attractions to their current confines. Either way though, Miyamoto ends the video with this promise…
…and if anyone knows what fun is, it’s that guy.