A theme park based at Universal Studios Japan is tackling the challenge of bringing virtual worlds to life head-on, with the construction of Super Nintendo World set to complete in Spring 2021.
The theme park, part of Universal Studios Japan, announced the decision to set an opening date of the 4th February, in time for Tokyo’s Olympic Games. Another Super Nintendo Park is currently set to be built in Universal Studios Orlando.
Both the Games and the launch of Super Nintendo World were delayed by the pandemic and have moved to 2021 launch dates.
Theme parks are a popular genre of computer game, with games like Theme Park and Roller Coaster Tycoon being incredibly popular. Universal Studios has a game based on the park itself, but it is interesting how rarely theme park attractions have been based on video games.
Many games have striking themed environments and diverse locales that would potentially be well suited to be turned into physical attractions, but there have been very few, and often appear to lack staying power.
The first one, Pac Man Land at Six Flags Over Texas, was a set of rides intended for small children, including a trademark maze, an inflatable bounce area, a ball pit and an inflatable hill. It lasted two years before being replaced.
There have been some more notable successes. Angry Birds Land at Thorpe Park has lasted six years, and Alton Towers’ established Spinball Whizzer was given a Sonic the Hedgehog makeover that lasted five years before returning to the old name.
Generally, if a game has staying power than the ride tends to as well, which does suggest some promise for Nintendo’s theme park.