Nintendo working with Universal on theme park attractions

Posted Thursday, May 7, 2015 9:49 AM | Contributed by Jeff

Universal Parks & Resorts will create theme-park attractions based on Nintendo video games, the companies announced this morning. Nintendo is the creator of games such as Super Mario Bros. and Zelda. The theme-park division of NBCUniversal owns both Universal Orlando and Universal Studios Hollywood.

Read more from Kotaku and The Orlando Sentinel.

Friday, May 8, 2015 7:56 AM
Jeff's avatar

The license granted by Marvel to the park was for some absurd length of time, as I recall, like 50 years. I don't think they would let go of that license unless Disney wrote a substantial check for it.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Silly Nonsense

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Friday, May 8, 2015 8:24 AM
kpjb's avatar

I remember hearing that it was a 99 year contract and that Uni has the right to renew. I can't vouch for the accuracy because I can't remember where I heard that.


Hi

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Friday, May 8, 2015 11:29 AM
Vater's avatar

I'd be bummed if they got rid of this.

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Friday, May 8, 2015 11:46 AM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

The timing of the stories does seem strange though.

Out of nowhere, suddenly the word is that there are big changes coming to the Marvel stuff at IOA. Then like two days later this Nintendo deal is announced.


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Friday, May 8, 2015 11:57 AM
Vater's avatar

I hadn't heard of the Marvel changes except for speculation in this thread. Where did you hear that?

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Friday, May 8, 2015 12:10 PM
slithernoggin's avatar

There's lots of chatter on the Internet.

With Disney Parks being such a strong performer for the company and Marvel Studios movies being almost reliably blockbusters, I suppose Disney might be ready to bite the bullet and pay whatever Universal wants to bring Marvel to the world's #1 tourism destination.

I came across the SEC filing Universal did back at the time, which says "Once THE MARVEL UNIVERSE opens within the above time period, the term of this agreement shall continue for so long as a THE MARVEL UNIVERSE shall remain open... at any Universal Theme Park... except for termination for material breach..." In other words, it's theirs for as long as they want it, unless they decide to accept a mountain of money to exit the agreement.

I'm not a businessperson, but I did watch both Dallas and Dynasty, so my expertise is obvious. :-)


Life is something that happens when you can't get to sleep.
--Fran Lebowitz

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Friday, May 8, 2015 12:43 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

No sure exactly where (it wasn't a random forum), but Slithernoggin's link is the gist of the story. I sort of read it and thought, "Meh. Whatever." But then this story popped up just a day or two behind it and...well, that could be a terrific coincedence, but it makes me hesitate to write it off so quickly.


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Friday, May 8, 2015 12:59 PM
Jeff's avatar

On one hand, you could argue that since Comcast has scored so well with Harry Potter, maybe they don't need Marvel at all, and getting a big cash out is a win they can pour into new capex. That said, there may be some strategic advantage to holding on to the license in that Disney can't build attractions on it as long as the license is in place.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Silly Nonsense

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Friday, May 8, 2015 1:23 PM
slithernoggin's avatar

To be precise, Disney can't build attractions in Florida. Everywhere else is fair game.

At least as far as that SEC filing goes, Universal never satisfied requirements that would have allowed it to build Marvel attractions elsewhere. Hong Kong Disneyland is getting an Iron Man ride next year.


Life is something that happens when you can't get to sleep.
--Fran Lebowitz

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Friday, May 8, 2015 2:38 PM
ApolloAndy's avatar

But how much are these parks really in competition? Rising tides and boats and such. I'm not sure that Disney opening some fantastic new Marvel area is bad for Universal, just as I suspect that WWoHP boosted attendance at a lot of other Florida parks. And if they can get Scrooge McDuck style mountain of money with which to rebrand the area and see a huge spike in overall Orlando tourism from the new Disney/Marvel attractions, I'm not sure there's a downside.


Hobbes: "What's the point of attaching a number to everything you do?"
Calvin: "If your numbers go up, it means you're having more fun."

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Friday, May 8, 2015 3:42 PM
Jeff's avatar

In a vibrant economy, you're probably right, but while there are may not be losers, there is definitely a higher level of winningness possible among the competitors. It took a very long time for Universal to cement itself as a two-day complex for a majority of visitors. If we're to believe any of the rumors around WDW (Cars Land, Star Wars, etc.), along with announced stuff like Avatar Land, they may get more of families' finite time.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Silly Nonsense

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Saturday, May 9, 2015 12:43 AM
slithernoggin's avatar

For what it's worth: Reuters moved this story on 7th May.

From the article: "In a sign of further diversification, Nintendo also said on Thursday that it would allow Universal Parks & Resorts, a subsidiary of Comcast NBCUniversal, to use its characters for new theme park attractions.

The two companies did not provide details on the timing or scale of the partnership. Iwata said they could collaborate at Universal Studios Japan in Osaka or other Universal theme parks."

Last edited by slithernoggin, Saturday, May 9, 2015 12:55 AM

Life is something that happens when you can't get to sleep.
--Fran Lebowitz

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