Universal to open first Nintendo-centric theme park by 2020 – CNBC

Mario’s going to the Tokyo Olympics.

Universal Studios and Nintendo announced that Super Nintendo World, a specialized area of the theme park, will open at Universal Studios Japan in time for the 2020 Games. The companies plan to spend more than 50 billion yen ($434 million) to develop and create the rides and attractions. That puts it on the same scale as the park’s successful Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

Nintendo announced last week that themed areas will also be added to the parks in Orlando and Hollywood, but no date has been specified for those.

The Nintendo-themed area of the Osaka-based park will include rides, interactive areas, shops and restaurants built around and featuring familiar Nintendo characters and games. Nintendo’s creative mastermind Shigeru Miyamoto is working alongside Universal to help create experiences that are immersive and true to the characters.

The price tag for the park is 10 billion yen more than Universal initially said it planned to spend on the project, which could reflect increased interest by officials or an expansion in what they expect to include in the area.

Either way, the well-known and family-friendly Nintendo characters could be a strong draw for Universal, which has recently been competing more aggressively with Disney’s theme park operations. Disney operates a theme park in Tokyo, roughly four hours away from Osaka.

Nintendo’s not the only video game company with theme park plans, though. Ubisoft last year announced plans for a similar standalone park in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. That 10,000-square-meter “next generation” park is also expected to open in 2020.

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