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Universal plans a Potter-sized Nintendo Land at its theme park in Osaka

Universal plans a Potter-sized Nintendo Land at its theme park in Osaka

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Mickey and the House of Mouse better watch out. Mario is moving into the castle !

Nintendo and Universal plan to have the first Nintendo park ready in a few years. The target date is by the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. It won't really be a self-contained theme park, but rather an expansion to the existing Universal Studios Japan which is located in Osaka. Universal is betting big on this project and plans to invest 400 billion Yen or over $350 million US into its development, which was more than was budgeted for the Harry Potter expansion in Florida. The high prices of construction and development in Japan may account for the added cost.

This new park is scheduled to be on-par with the size of the Harry Potter expansion in Universal Studios Florida and Hollywood. According to the Sankei News the expansion will exist immediately to the left of the main entrance, some staff offices and existing queues will have to be relocated in the process. In the long standing tradition the new area of the park will bring in attractions, restaurants and shops. Limited time merchandise and exclusive collectibles are also set to appear in-park. It is unknown if this will include limited edition game consoles as well but don't bet against it.

The character Mario has been announced as a main mascot for the park which only makes sense. Mario is a globally recognized icon and has been an ambassador for gaming for 35 years. Just about any game the character has appeared in, from Donkey Kong to Super Mario Bros and Mario Kart would be a great experience in ride form. Of course many game players are hoping to see a variety of smaller "lands" featuring Metroid, The Legend of Zelda, and Animal Crossing within the parks. Sorry game fans but Pokemon and Yo-Kai Watch are licensed to Nintendo and it would probably not be featured in shops or attractions.

Universal Studios Japan was bought out by Comcast in November of 2015.The new parent company has been making huge strides in the theme park industry. The CFO and Senior Vice President of Universal Parks and Resorts, Jean Louise Bonnier, has been an outspoken supporter of the industry and hopes to bring his experience to Japan. However what has not been stated is if there are plans to bring this expansion to the west as well. I can only hope that Mr. Bonnier realizes that the Nintendo brand is just about as important in the US as it is in Japan.

Expect to see more news on JimHillMedia.com as it is revealed.

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