Nintendo and Universal form theme park partnership

Discussion in 'Non-Disney Theme Parks and Destinations' started by See Post, May 9, 2015.

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    Originally Posted By Dr Hans Reinhardt

    <a target="blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20150507005307/en/Nintendo-Partners-Universal-Parks-Resorts-Create-World%E2%80%99s#.VUufNihrbqB">http://www.businesswire.com/ne...fNihrbqB</a>
     
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    Originally Posted By Jim in Merced CA

    Nintendo

    There's a brand with some real untapped value. :-/

    1997 called - they want their Game Boy back.
     
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    Originally Posted By Dr Hans Reinhardt

    I was thinking the exact same thing Jim and wondered if maybe I was missing something. Nintendo seems like a odd choice, especially for a theme park brand that prides itself on being hipper than Disney.
     
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    Originally Posted By Dr Hans Reinhardt

    The do produce Wii, so there's that I guess. Maybe I'm too old to get the appeal?
     
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    Originally Posted By CuriousConstance

    We have Wii and Wii U and I still think it's odd. They still release Mario games and such, but this feels like it's on par with adding a Simpsonsland, about 25 years too late.
     
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    Originally Posted By hopemax

    >Maybe I'm too old to get the appeal?<

    Yes, I think you are. Have you played MarioKart? I say all of this as a non-video game fan. Even though my school age years were 1980-93, I never got into it, but everyone around me, certainly did. But I can still recognize how incredibly iconic Mario and crew are.

    The area its replacing is: Fievel, Curious George, Woody Woodpecker, and a theater that used to hold Barney.

    The parents with theme park age children now, and coming up, were children during the 80s. When Disney was putting out things like The Black Cauldron, Great Mouse Detective, Oliver & Company. When Mario, Donkey Kong, Zelda were taking over the world. There was a 1990 survey that more AMERICAN kids recognized Mario than Mickey Mouse. Go back through Disney's business history and there was real worry that Mickey was becoming more irrelevant with upcoming generations, Mickey stopped having public birthday's like the 50th, and 60th because then kids would know he was "old"...Somebody must have been making Disney feel uncomfortable...Pokemon is Nintendo too, although that came later.

    Universal has a theme park in Japan. This deal, is for them too.

    The Nintendo handheld games continue to dominate the market, and while the Wii U faltered, Nintendo consoles still is the dominant force historically.

    But this is less about gaming, as it is character recognition and association with "fun". Which "multi-generational" family of characters, that are available, should Universal have pursued instead?

    As technology advances, the line between tv & movies and video games becomes even more blurred. All are legitimate 2-D screen worlds, that people want to be able to walk into.
     
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    Originally Posted By hopemax

    And if one were really interested, they could start following sales figures for Nintendo's Amiibo and Disney Infinity.

    I know, what? But that's what the kids are into these days. Disney's Infinity launched Aug 2013, and Nintendo's line didn't come out until last fall.

    Along with the theme park announcement Nintendo announced that by Dec 2014, they had sold 5.7 million, and end of first quarter (March) 10.5 million. A number that seems to have shocked analysts because of how strong sales have been. The interesting thing is that while foreign markets are Nintendo's usually wheelhouse, for Amiibo, 66% have been sold in North America. Best Buy released some holiday sales numbers, and Nintendo and Disney Infinity tied.
     
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    Originally Posted By Yookeroo

    Does seem kind of odd. But they do have some strong family friendly franchises. Mario, Zelda & Pokemon are still going pretty strong. I think a Mario themed land could be a lot of fun. It would certainly b e colorful.
     
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    Originally Posted By Dr Hans Reinhardt

    "Go back through Disney's business history and there was real worry that Mickey was becoming more irrelevant with upcoming generations, Mickey stopped having public birthday's like the 50th, and 60th because then kids would know he was "old"..."

    I suppose if Mickey were the only marketable franchise that Disney owned then I could see your point, but even when the company wasn't performing well its brand was still one of the most revered and respected in the world. Some current estimates (Forbes) peg TWDCO's value at above $100 billion, while Nintendo comes in at under $20 billion. They aren't even in the same league.

    "But this is less about gaming, as it is character recognition and association with "fun". Which "multi-generational" family of characters, that are available, should Universal have pursued instead?"

    Farmville? Angry Birds? Candy Crush? The Sims? I'm not a gamer, so I have no clue. Like Jim my first thought was that it's an odd pairing.
     
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    Originally Posted By Jim in Merced CA

    Good points all, hopemax.

    Thanks for sharing your perspective.

    Nice to see you on the LP boards :)
     
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    Originally Posted By CuriousConstance

    I've always been a Mario fan, but even so, it feels odd to have an attraction/land based on a game.
    It may end up being cool, but right now it kinda feels desperate.
     
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    Originally Posted By leemac

    This is a great deal for Uni. They don't have any strong family franchises and Nintendo's brands have stood the test of time - multi-generational.

    IoA in particularly has a number of tired old franchises that were cobbled together from their deal with King Features Syndicate to fill gaps. Stuff like Dudley Do-Right and Popeye aren't in the public eye at all and don't resonate with kids. Even Seuss Landing probably isn't the strongest brand for kids today although it certainly isn't suffering in the same way as Toon Lagoon.

    Nintendo protect their brands as voraciously as Disney - they develop everything in-house and exploit themselves. They don't like licensing deals.

    Uni don't have a strong animation unit - virtually everything is through Illumination which has a mixed record. Despicable Me has been a success but their other features like Hop and The Lorax have under-performed compared with their peers. This gets the parks with a strong family-orientated brand immediately.

    It seems win/win to me.
     
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    Originally Posted By Dr Hans Reinhardt

    'Nintendo's brands have stood the test of time - multi-generational."

    Who is Nintendo's competition? From what I'm reading here it sounds like they are the leaders in this arena.
     
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    Originally Posted By hopemax

    Back in the day, it used to be Sega (Sonic the Hedgehog), then the Playstation.

    Now it's Microsoft's Xbox, and still Sony's PlayStation. However, there is recognition that some of the most popular games on those consoles have never been the type of game Nintendo has been interested in ('rated M for mature' games).

    In the handheld market, the previously mentioned Gameboy, and then the DS and the 3DS hav crushed everything...except for recently smart phones/tablets. Last year, Nintendo announced that they would start developing content for that market. So we'll have to see how they do with that.
     
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    Originally Posted By leemac

    <<Back in the day, it used to be Sega (Sonic the Hedgehog), then the Playstation.>>

    Did Playstation ever have a blockbuster family brand? I vaguely remember Rayman and maybe Crash Bandicoot but otherwise I'm struggling to come up with anything.

    Same with Sega beyond Sonic and his crew.

    Nintendo managed to create a host of popular characters that led franchises for years. I've never been much of a gamer but I loved my little Nintendo split-screen LCD Games & Watch like Donkey Kong and Manhole.
     
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    Originally Posted By leemac

    One of Nintendo's biggest challenges has been the desire to keep hardware and software development in-house. Sony and Microsoft decided to be hardware manufacturers with a strong focus on licensed product (albeit both own their own gaming studios). Sony only ever conceived the Playstation to push their other products like blu-ray. Microsoft's reasons to be in the sector seemed to just be a push to diversify away from an ageing software platform in Windows.
     
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    Originally Posted By hopemax

    > Did Playstation ever have a blockbuster family brand? I vaguely remember Rayman and maybe Crash Bandicoot but otherwise I'm struggling to come up with anything.

    I don't think so. I think Crash Bandicoot is closest. But like I said, I'm not a gamer, just have a little knowledge from osmosis. Mostly, I think it was just a platform for playing "other people's games." And I think they got a lot of mileage from also being a DVD (and later Blu ray) player.
     
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    Originally Posted By Dr Hans Reinhardt

    Thanks for the insight Hopemax.
     
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    Originally Posted By CuriousConstance

    Despite Nintendo's popularity, it still feels like a move they're making because they have nothing good enough in their own line up to me. And that seems pretty lame.
     
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    Originally Posted By phruby

    Crash Bandicoot was a Universal property and use to wonder around the park. I have a picture with him.
     

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