Universal Studios’ Nintendo theme park will open in Japan next spring after the coronavirus pandemic delayed its launch, the gaming giant announced Wednesday.
“Super Nintendo World” will welcome its first guests early next year as part of the Universal Studios Japan complex in Osaka. The park was supposed to open ahead of this year’s Tokyo Olympics, but the plans were pushed back after COVID-19 forced officials to postpone the games.
Universal has not revealed a specific opening date for the park, which is largely inspired by Nintendo’s iconic “Super Mario” series and will feature Mario Kart and Yoshi-themed rides.
But the amusement giant’s Japanese unit says it will open a Nintendo-themed “Mario Cafe & Store” at the Osaka park Oct. 16 to whet fans’ appetites. The outpost in the park’s “Hollywood” section will sell Mario-themed merchandise and snacks, such as a bright-red pancake sandwich.
Universal’s theme parks suffered a 94 percent revenue drop as COVID-19 forced them to close in the spring. But the pandemic has been good to Nintendo as worldwide lockdowns sparked a renewed interest in gaming. The Kyoto-based company reported a 200 percent spike in its quarterly profits in May amid a surge in demand for its Switch console.
Nintendo’s Tokyo-listed shares climbed about 0.9 percent Wednesday to 57,860 Japanese yen, or $545.95.