It looks like an IRL Super Mario World is coming our way — or to Japan, at least.
No, really: according to the Japanese publication Sankei, Universal has announced that it will be opening up a real-life Super Mario World at its studio theme park in Osaka sometime in 2020 — the first Nintendo video game theme park in the world.
The Nintendo-inspired park itself will actually be an attachment to the greater preexisting amusement park, located left of the main entrance in an area that currently serves as a large event space.
— Dr. Serkan Toto (@serkantoto) March 5, 2016
The park was announced last year by Universal with the hopes of bringing some of Nintendo's most recognizable characters to life, and letting people of all ages interact with Mario and Luigi, although there's no word on whether characters from other franchises like Donkey Kong, The Legend of Zelda and Pokemon will also be there to pal around with.
"Nintendo has created remarkable and imaginative worlds filled with captivating stories and beloved characters," Nintendo stated in an official press release issued in 2015. Now, for the first time, those stories and characters will be brought to life in entirely new ways," the companies said in a joint statement.
"The immersive experiences will include major attractions at Universal's theme parks and will feature Nintendo's most famous characters and games," they added.
There's the chance the news might also be the harbinger for a financial upswing for Nintendo, as the Telegraph pointed out:
"The news comes as Nintendo announces its first annual operating profit in four years.The Japanese video game maker reported profits of ¥24.8bn (£136m) for the year to March 2015, beating its own forecast of ¥20bn and analyst predictions of ¥23.8bn."
It will cost Universal around $335 million to add the section as per its projected costs, but it looks like the reward might be far more than the cost, especially in light of the 2020 Olympics scheduled to take place in Tokyo, the nation's capital. Even though Osaka is a good 300 miles by train, the unique theme and the staying power of everyone's favorite plumber/astronaut/racoon-human hybrid/Mario kart driver might be just enough of a draw to get tourists to make the trek.