Nintendo to build theme park rides with Universal

May 7, 2015 | 12:49

Tags: #3ds #amiibo #donkey-kong #intellectual-property #mario #new-3ds #theme-park #universal #wii-u #zelda

Companies: #nintendo

Nintendo, the company so famously protective of its intellectual property that it refused to allow its games to appear on platforms which it did not control, has signed a partnership with Universal Parks & Resorts to build Nintendo-themed attractions at theme parks.

Originally a hanafuda card manufacturer followed by a brief stint in running euphemistic 'love hotels,' Nintendo found fame as the creator of typically family-friendly games. Creations like Mario, Donkey Kong and Samus Aran have become iconic, and the company outlived rival Sega to become the only survivor of the original console hardware gold-rush. It has long been protective of its IP, however, and aside from a few high-profile failures - three Zelda games produced by Philips for its short-lived CD-i console as one example - has refused to see them given over to third-party licensing.

Recently, the company has had a change of heart. It has stated its intention to produce smartphone software, something it had steadfastly refused in favour of restricting its IP to appearance on its own-brand hand-held consoles, and has now gone a step further with a deal to place Nintendo-themed attractions in Universal theme parks.

Described by the company as bringing together 'two icons of entertainment,' the deal is a significant partnership for Nintendo - and may be followed by more as Nintendo 'expands the reach and popularity of its characters and intellectual property,' the company added without providing additional details of its plans.

The partnership will see Universal building Nintendo-themed 'major attractions' into its global parks, based on the company's most famous characters and games. The deal is at the very early stages, however, with the two companies promising to release additional details in the future as they 'work to create specific concepts' for rides and other attractions.

The announcement came as Nintendo posted a 17.6 billion yen profit on 106.8 billion yen revenue for the fourth financial quarter, a big improvement on the 33.42 billion yen loss it took a year earlier and far better than the 19.18 billion yen loss analysts had been expecting. This surprise turnaround came despite poor sales of the Wii U console, thanks to the successes of its New 3DS and New 3DS XL hand-helds and its Amiibo collectable range.
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