Tuesday, January 14, 2020


Nowadays it seems every major pop culture franchise in the world is looking for an opportunity to become a tangible theme park attraction. It is no secret that Marvel is planning to open expansion theme areas based on the Avengers in some of the theme parks of its parent company Disney. And already the Wizarding World of J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter” has its own theme area in Universal Studios Japan. Said Japanese theme park is also set to open its latest licensed property collaboration with a major videogame company. Soon, guests at USJ will say hello to Super Nintendo World.

It is true, as IGN tells it. There will soon be a themed area based on the games and characters of Nintendo that will open in Universal Studios Japan this coming summer. Nintendo itself gave the official announcement in the form of a collaborative music video with English singer Charli XCX and Swedish electronica duo Galantis. The song, “We Are Born to Play,” showcases what fans of the Japanese gaming giant can expect from Super Nintendo World when it opens in Universal Studios Japan. While no actual footage of the themed area was shown, the music video helps visualize what the experience will be like.

The music video begins with Nintendo gamers having fun with their Nintendo Switch systems all over the world (even in space as evidenced by the astronaut in the space station). Suddenly, green pipes that are familiar to all who have played Nintendo’s iconic “Super Mario” game franchise, start popping up. The gamers jump into them to arrive at a Mario World come to life. Nintendo looks to make Super Nintendo World a real-life videogame environment by utilizing wristbands similar to Disney MagicBand that will interface with guests’ mobile devices so they can participate in a “life-sized living videogame” while exploring.

So far, the majority theme for Super Nintendo World is understandably that of their “Super Mario” series. The “Power Up Bands” issued to guests will have characters from the franchise in their design such as Mario, Luigi, Princesses Peach and Daisy, and more. The downloadable smartphone app that interfaces with the bands will show a map of Super Nintendo World, where they can collect virtual game coins, play game challenges with other guests, and more. Aside from the app, there is also allegedly some connectivity with the Nintendo Switch in its portable form, and they can be used to spice up attraction rides based on Mario spinoffs like “Mario Kart.”

Super Nintendo World is expected to open in Universal Studios Japan sometime before the opening of the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics, which also has Nintendo as a major licensing partner. In addition, a stateside Super Nintendo World area will also be expected to open sometime soon in Universal Studios Hollywood.

Image courtesy of The Verge


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