Universal Studios Japan has announced a partnership with The Pokémon Company for a mysterious new virtual reality experience. Nintendo currently has an attraction in Universal Studios Japan called Super Nintendo World, with plans to branch out to Universal’s Hollywood, Orlando and Singapore in 2025. Unfortunately, those plans have been thwarted by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which also forced Super Nintendo World is temporarily closing its doors less than a month after the grand opening back in March.
So far, Super Nintendo Worlds rides and attractions have been primarily focused around Mario, where participants ride on the interactive Mario Kart roller coaster, dining at Toad Café, unlocking exclusive Miitopia character costumes with special interactive bracelets and even having a cozy conversation with characters with full voices like Princess Peach. However, there are plans that the Super Nintendo World will branch out to non-Mario Nintendo franchises in the future, according to an upcoming Super Nintendo World Donkey Kong expansion based on the equally iconic character. Now it looks like Pokémon could soon attend the amusement park, though it is too early to say.
On October 6, Universal Studios Japan announced that it is entering into a partnership with The Pokémon Company, beginning in 2022. So far, there are few details on what this partnership will bring (without mentioning anyone Pokémon attractions at Super Nintendo World in the release), but Universal Studios Japan’s announcement does not mention plans to develop an interactive virtual experience that will “immerse guests in the world of Pokémon. Both Universal Studios Japan’s President and CEO JL Bonnier and The Pokémon Company President and CEO Tsunekazu Ishihara expressed enthusiasm for this long-term agreement between their companies.
This new partnership with Universal Studios Japan is coming true as fans continue to celebrate Pokémon franchises 25th anniversary this year. To comment on the milestone, Nintendo is releasing more Pokémon games on the Nintendo Switch over the next few years, including the upcoming one Pokémon Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining pearl and the open world Pokémon Legends: Arceus. Rumors are speculating that more major ones are coming Pokémon announcements in 2022, so perhaps the details of the Universal Studios partnership will turn out to be related to these revelations.
It’s still too early to say whether the VR experience described by The Pokémon Company and Universal Studios Japan will be part of Super Nintendo World or something completely different, but the idea of exploring the vast world of Pokémon and interaction with its range of titular collectibles is certainly an exciting concept. However, it may take a while to see these plans become a reality as the recently announced partnership between The Pokémon Company and Universal Studios Japan will not officially enter into force until next year.
Source: Universal Studios Japan