By ALLENIA RHODES
Visitors to Universal Studios theme parks may soon be able to jump on interactive rides inspired by fast paced video games.
Osaka-based Nintendo Co., the world’s largest video game company, announced a partnership Thursday with Universal Studios Parks & Resorts to develop attractions based on the company’s popular video games and characters, such as Super Mario Bros., Donkey Kong, Pokemon, and Legend of Zelda.
Although they didn’t say much about the details of their partnership including how much money changed hands, industry experts say the deal reflects the growing importance theme parks place on creating attractions inspired by beloved characters and stories.
Universal Parks already operate attractions based on the popular Harry Potter books, The Simpsons television show and Jurassic Park movies.
Robert Niles, the author of the famous website, ThemeParkInsider.com said, “Any time you are dealing with an intellectual property that people already know, you have an opportunity to appeal to fans that love these properties.”
Worldwide video game sales are expected to top $100 billion this year, according to industry estimates. In the last few years theme parks across the country have relied heavily on popular television and movie characters to inspire new attractions. So combining the of these two will increase profit for both Nintendo and Universal.
Next month Universal Studios Hollywood plans to release a new addition to its iconic Studio Tour, an attraction based on the Fast and Furious movie franchise.
Universal Studios officials declined to say whether other theme park companies competed for the rights to partner with Nintendo. Since Nintendo launched its game consoles in 1983, the company has sold more than 4.3 billion video games and more than 680 million hardware units.
With this in play people will see their beloved Nintendo characters running around Universal Theme Parks.