KONTAK PERKASA FUTURES – The Universal Studios Japan theme park’s operating officer and investment strategist Tsuyoshi Morioka stated to the Sankei Shimbun paper on Tuesday that the theme park’s planned Nintendo-themed attraction area will cost more than the existing “Wizarding World of Harry Potter” area.

Universal Studios Japan and Nintendo plan to build the Nintendo attraction area to the left of the theme park’s front gate (the area pictured in red in the image at right, while the green area is the existing park area). Currently, the area is being used as temporary event space.

According to Morioka, the new area will cost more than the “Wizarding World of Harry Potter” area, which cost about 40 billion yen (about US$380 million) before it opened at the theme park in July 2014. Thus, Sankei Shimbun postulates that the new area could cost over 50 billion yen (about US$480 million). The project plans to use the popular Nintendo character Mario, as well as other characters in the Nintendo library. The theme park plans to open the area by the time the Tokyo Olympics are held in 2020.

Nintendo had announced in May 2015 that it was partnering with Universal Parks & Resorts to bring Nintendo-themed attractions to Universal theme parks in the future. Nintendo stated at the time that the “immersive experiences will include major attractions at Universal’s theme parks and will feature Nintendo‘s most famous characters and games.” Nintendo then announced in February that it planned to create attractions at Universal Studios Japan in Osaka.

Universal Studios Japan is celebrating its 15th anniversary this year. The park is running a 4-D Dragon Ball Z ride, a One Piece live stage show, and a Death Note real escape game as part of a series of Shonen Jump-themed “Universal Jump Summer” attractions. The park is also running a Yo-kai Watch themed attraction, and will launch two segments, “Yarisugi! Summer Theater” and “Yarisugi! Summer Live,” of summer-long performances by AKB48 from July 23 to September 4.

Source : animenewsnetwork.com