Ever wanted to play Mario Kart in real life? Well, soon you might be able to do just that, with Nintendo and Universal Parks & Resorts announcing a partnership that will see a number of popular Nintendo characters coming to Universal theme parks.
Characters to be brought to theme parks likely include the likes of Link, Luigi, and, of course, Mario.
"Universal theme parks offer incredibly popular, innovative themed family entertainment experiences based on compelling stories and characters—using powerful storytelling and innovative technology," said Universal and Nintendo in a joint statement. "Nintendo has created remarkable and imaginative worlds filled with captivating stories and beloved characters. Now, for the first time, those stories and characters will be brought to life in entirely new ways—only at Universal theme parks."
Details about the partnership are currently limited, with the companies simply saying that characters and stories will be brought to life at Universal.
The partnership is suggestive of the fact that Nintendo has recently been trying to break out of its comfort zone in order to find new avenues of profit. Historically, Nintendo has been very protective of its intellectual property, and while there have been a number of TV shows and toys related to Nintendo characters, the company has remained reluctant to share money with other companies.
This reluctance seems to be changing, with the company announcing in March that it would begin developing games for iOS and Android, a move many have been hoping for over the past few years. This represents the first time that the company has been willing to release games related to its characters on platforms that it does not own. While it is unlikely that we will see Super Mario Bros on our smartphones anytime soon, it certainly will be interesting to see what kinds of games the company plans on releasing.
The plan comes shortly after Nintendo announced its fiscal year 2015 financial results, turning a profit for the first time in a number of years. The company turned a profit of around 41.8 billion yen (around $350 million). After the company lost $194.2 million the previous fiscal year, it certainly is big news for the company to be making money again.
Universal has been known to take well-established brands and franchises and incorporate them into their theme parks to a full extent, as it has done with the likes of Harry Potter and The Simpsons. It will certainly be interesting to see what it comes up with for Universal. Perhaps we could see a haunted house based on Luigi's Mansion?