Mario, Nintendo kin jumping into theme parks
While the famed Japanese creator of Mario Bros. and Donkey Kong spent most of his trip to last week’s Electronic Entertainment Expo touting such upcoming Nintendo games as “Super Mario Maker” and “Star Fox Zero,” Miyamoto was also enthusiastic about a totally different undertaking. He’s helping to bring his digital creations to life in Universal theme parks.
“We’ve come to the point where the kids who grew up playing Nintendo games are now parents who have their own kids,” said the veteran game designer during an interview translated by Bill Trinen, product marketing director at Nintendo of America. “I think for them it will be a tremendous experience.”
Nintendo Co. announced plans last month for immersive experiences featuring the Japanese gaming giant’s characters at Universal theme parks, but it didn’t provide any details. Universal Parks & Resorts is owned by cable company Comcast Corp. and has properties in Los Angeles; Orlando, Fla.; Osaka, Japan; and Sentosa, Singapore. Despite the forthcoming release of the sci-fi space combat game Star Fox Zero and the do-it-yourself platformer Super Mario Maker for Nintendo’s Wii U console, the 62-year-old game designer has no immediate plans to retire — and his colleagues don’t want him to, either.
Miyamoto suggested that plucky plumber Mario and his colorful Mushroom Kingdom would be hopping into Universal’s parks, though he didn’t elaborate on specific attractions. He noted Nintendo has been working closely with the theme park behemoth on the project. “We have all the knowledge of who the Mario character is, what the Mario world is and how it’s represented,” said Miyamoto. “We have been in constant communication with (Universal) communicating our vision to them, and they’re turning it into something that could exist within that park. It’s really about that partnership.”