Pokémon is coming to Universal Studios Japan. Universal's most visited theme park today announced a deal with The Pokémon Company to bring the popular game IP to the Osaka theme park.
"Universal Studios Japan and The Pokémon Company will enter a long-term partnership to jointly explore groundbreaking entertainment that will immerse guests into the world of Pokémon with innovative technology and creativity beginning in 2022," Universal said in its press release.
"The real and virtual worlds will come together creating a revolutionary new theme park experience."
Next year is probably too early to expect any new permanent ride installations from this agreement, so Universal fans' first taste of Pokémon in Japan likely will take the form of entertainment or some interactive experience using guests' mobile devices, as suggested in the press release. Universal provided no further details or clues about what fans might expect with Pokémon in 2022.
"We are honored to have a long-term partnership with The Pokémon Company while developing groundbreaking Pokémon entertainment at Universal Studios Japan for both Pokémon fans and our guests," USJ LLC CEO and President J.L. Bonnier said. "The globally popular Pokémon characters combined with Universal’s innovative approach to creating authentic and one-of-a-kind theme park entertainment promise excitement for the entire family."
"The incredible team at Universal Studios Japan have the creative vision and leading expertise in world-class theme park technology to imagine a uniquely Pokémon experience," The Pokémon Company CEO and President Tsunekazu Ishihara said. "This strategic alliance with Universal Studios Japan reflects our commitment to continue delivering the joy of Pokémon in ever evolving ways for years to come. We are looking forward to the day when we can welcome fans from around the world to all enjoy it together."
The Pokémon deal follows Universal Studios Japan's announcement that it will expand its Super Nintendo World land with Donkey Kong in 2024. The addition of Pokémon to that portfolio will give USJ the world's top line-up of game-driven attractions. The Pokémon Company is partially owned by Nintendo.
While Super Nintendo World is coming to Universal Studios theme parks in Hollywood, Orlando, and Singapore, and Donkey Kong is expected in Orland's new Epic Universe park, today's deal with The Pokémon Company covers Universal Studios Japan only. But Universal's corporate PR account sent out the release, and all the other parks are sharing this news on their social channels, so if you want to speculate about Pokémon coming to Universal's other parks, Universal is doing zilch to dissuade you.
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