Nintendo hasn’t been in the news much, lately, and when they are it’s nearly always bad news. Earlier this week they posted their first positive earnings call since 2011, which is a bit of a surprise considering what an incredible flop the Nintendo Wii U has been. However, news came out last night that should help to bring in some cash, as well as make some nostalgic adults very happy. According to a blog post from Universal Orlando last night, Nintendo is partnering with Universal Theme Parks to “bring the world of Nintendo to life.”
Universal operates theme parks all over the world including the United States, Japan, and Singapore, and planning parks in China and Russia. Although both parties are staying pretty quiet about what the contents of these new rides will be, Nintendo told Quartz that, “This is an exciting project that will be unlike any other either of our companies have ever done.”
In case you weren’t aware, most of the rides at Universal’s theme parks are some sort of 3D adventure that invokes nostalgia from riders young and old. Currently there are attractions featuring Transformers, The Simpsons, Harry Potter, Fear Factor, and a variety of Marvel attractions including The Incredible Hulk, Spider Man, and The Fantastic 4. It makes perfect sense that two companies who essentially market in nostalgia, selling their intellectual property from yesteryear, would pair up in this way. As you would guess, these “immersive experiences…will feature Nintendo’s most famous characters and games,” which we’re all hoping will mean riding alongside our favorite characters in a brought-to-life vision of Mario Kart.
Nintendo has had fairly underwhelming console sales since the GameCube, which was Nintendo’s answer to Sony’s Playstation 2 and Microsoft’s Xbox, but the GameCube sold 22 million units, which was dwarfted by Sony’s 150 million and even sold fewer than Microsoft’s first attempt at a console, which sold over 24 million units. Ultimately, they had to mix it up in order to appeal to the audiences of today and this partnership is a great start to that.
According to the announcement, more details will be announced in the future as Nintendo and Universal creative teams have specific concepts ready.