Universal Parks & Resorts is partnering with Japanese video game company Nintendo Co. Ltd. to build interactive rides at its theme parks.
Details of the partnership were sketchy but will include major attractions based on Nintendo characters and games, such as Donkey Kong, Mario & Luigi, Pokeman, and Legend of Zelda.
Universal operates four theme parks, including Universal Studios Hollywood in Universal City. Other locations are in Orlando, Fla., Singapore and Japan. Universal Parks & Resorts is a unit of Comcast NBCUniversal.
Nintendo, in Kyoto, is the world’s largest video game manufacturer, and has developed the Nintendo 3DS and Wii U game consoles and the handheld Game Boy device.
“Together, these two storytelling giants will create spectacular, dedicated experiences based on Nintendo’s wildly popular games, characters and worlds,” said Universal Park spokesman Tom Schroder in a prepared statement.
Creating attractions on popular characters in pop culture follows a well-established pattern by Universal at its theme parks.
In June, Universal Studios Hollywood will add to its studio tour an attraction based on the “Fast and Furious” movie franchise. Next year will be the debut of “Wizarding World of Harry Potter,” based on the popular books and films about the boy wizard and his friends.
Nintendo and Universal are targeting the lucrative U.S. gamer demographic that last year spent $15.4 billion on video, computer and mobile games, and another $7 billion on game consoles and accessories, according to market research firm NPD Group, in New York.
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