The untapped potential of video games IP's in theme parks.

Edited: August 14, 2021, 6:05 PM

With the opening of Supernintendo world in universal studios Japan, and the planned lands in universal Orlando and other parks around the world, the video Game industry begins a invasion in earnest into themed vacation destinations. And it makes perfect sense. The earnings from the video Game side of entertaiment is bigger than any other sector ( by a big margin ) Pokemon alone is the most proffitable IP in the planet (outselling Star Wars and Marvel!!!!! ). Bringing those millions of ravid and casual gamers ( and their money ) into the parks by allowing them to live their favorite game is a no brainer. Of course not every video Game franchise is a easy fit for a ride ir a show...but man there is a LOT of potential with some Many titles out there. What do You think is the next franchise yo follow Mario and donkey Kong in a theme parks?? Nintendo IP catálog alone can fill a Magic Kingdom size park with rides and shows.

Replies (13)

August 14, 2021, 6:07 PM

Maybe a design your video Game ride adaptaron contest could be a good idea here on TPI

August 15, 2021, 11:08 AM

We’ll, if you’re looking for Nintendo IP in a US theme park, you’ll have to wait for Universal, because they own the right for the foreseeable future. Disney has tried to subtly create crossover appeal between video game IPs and theme park attraction (Kingdom Hearts and Sorcerers for example), but haven’t had a ton of success.

It’s a tricky nut to crack because while it seems like a natural progression, most people view video games as a home experience.

Edited: August 15, 2021, 6:49 PM

I get your point. But there is no getting around the exclusivity deal of nintendo with universal. So You go with the other companies that also must want a piece of the action, and have some heavy appeal with gamers. ( A Sonic the hedgehog indoor launcher coaster augemented with VR tech and elaborated physical background is not a huge strech of imagination). Just an example

Edited: August 16, 2021, 9:30 AM

You mean VR tech that was a flash in the pan for about a year before becoming a spectacular failure across multiple theme park chains? VR is only good in small applications with very limited capacity. As both Disney and Universal are finding, AR is more of a diversionary technology and not something that can carry a primary storyline.

I think there are opportunities for video game franchises to eventually work their way into theme parks, but they just don't have broad enough appeal beyond the Nintendo IPs to carry an entire park on their own even if you use multiple franchises.

August 16, 2021, 11:38 AM

The best use of a video game IP is to make actual physical sets like what Universal has done with most of NintendoLand, not counting the AR Mario Kart ride (although the queue for that ride set in Bowser’s castle looks amazing!).

The problem with AR or VR is the technology gets dated quickly. I think about how amazed I was when I did the Star Wars experience at the now-closed Void at Disney Springs. Three years later I now have multiple Star Wars VR games on my Oculus Quest that I can play over and over again.

A more common example would be Toy Story Midway Mania. It was awesome in 2008! A couple of years later, I have the same game at home for my Wii that I bought for $10.

August 16, 2021, 11:39 AM

Ahhh i think You are vastly understimating the reach of video Game fans out , andeven beyond the ones that uses consolé an PC games this days, the nostalgia factor of the generation that grow up in the Golden era of arcade gaming is very strong. And the Sonic example is only a small one. Modern Classica like Halo, final fantasy, and Many others can compete wth nintendo, and if put togheter, a very attracctive and copetitive package in any theme park. Movie IP can go a long way. But video games are Even more penetrating into society.

Edited: August 16, 2021, 11:47 AM

And i do agree that VR augmentation is límited, but a useful tool if used properly.
I also favor the build up of physical sets, they really do amazing stuff.

August 17, 2021, 4:36 AM

Video games have recognizable IPs that are certainly worthy of consideration.

But how about an interactive attraction based on a board game?

I'm tawkin' 'Shoots & Ladders', kids!

August 18, 2021, 3:22 AM

I do think video game IP has big potential! Not too much to say Abouf this topic other than I like it!

August 25, 2021, 4:18 PM

>>Maybe a design your video Game ride adaptaron contest could be a good idea here on TPI

We used to do that. Honestly, its a lot of work, and many don't make the distance

August 26, 2021, 12:22 PM

I'll be the first one to admit, video games have little to no appeal to me. I played a lot of Pac Man and Tron in High School back in 1980-mumble-mumble, that was about it for me.
One thing that I think may hold back more integration from the Video Game world and Theme Park world is how so many of the popular titles involve violence. Please under stand - I have nothing against shoot'em up content, but it doesn't exactly mesh with the family friendly feel the big park operators have always based their operation on. Yes - the Halloween events go dark. Wonderfully, delightfully and profitably so, but that's still just a limited time even with a separate admission.
For the IP that can cozy into a theme park, only the most well funded parks will be able to really bring them to life like the gamers want. Bless Six Flags, but slapping a Sonic logo on the front car of a coaster is NOT what I'm assuming you are hoping for @Themeparkmad.
I believe it is coming, I'm just unsure how parks will ever be able to truly make the experience match the desire.

September 13, 2021, 7:18 AM

An indoor Pac-Man themed launch coaster like Tron at Shanghai Disneyland and Magic Kingdom would be friggin amazing

September 19, 2021, 10:42 AM

Good idea! I believe it can appeal more to the millennials and less to the older visitors. Can quite easily check the demand for this by running an online questionnaire. (There's good paid services for that.)

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