In May of 2015, Nintendo Co. announced a new partnership with Universal Studios. For the first time ever, Nintendo-themed attractions would be brought to life in a way that fans, new and old, could all enjoy at Universal Theme Parks. Fans have been impatiently waiting for more updates on the collaboration, and after almost a full year of waiting we have a new announcement!
The first Nintendo-themed land will be at Universal Studios Japan located in Osaka. The partners are aiming at having it opened in time for the 2020 Olympics - which will be held in Tokyo - in hopes that the Olympic crowds will bring out an increased number of attendance to the new Nintendo addition of the park.
The map to the right (or above if you're in mobile view) indicates the size of the Nintendo-themed world (colored red) in relation to the rest of the Universal attractions (colored green):
According to Sankei News, translated by Google Translate, forty billion yen ($351 million) will be invested into the project. The size and scope of the Nintendo section will be very similar to the deal Universal Studios made with the “Harry Potter” series to create the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
Since 2009, attendance at Universal Orlando Resort has jumped over 50 percent to 15 million annual visitors in 2013. According to Andy Brennan, an industry analyst at IBIS World, most of this can be directly accredited back to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
If the partnership is planning on putting as much time, effort and monetary value to the Nintendo-themed world as they did on the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Universal Studios should be expecting another huge increase in sales and attendance numbers. If that’s the case, hopefully Universal will be building the Nintendo-theme world at Universal Orlando and Universal Florida for us Nintendo fan-boys in America.
And so the waiting continues; 2020 cannot come fast enough.