Super Nintendo World is a milestone for gaming | OpinionThe world’s first theme park based on a video game opens in Osaka, and it signals a major strategic shift for NintendoRob FaheyContributing EditorFriday 19th March 2021Share this article Recommend Tweet ShareCompanies in this articleNintendoEarlier this week, with far less fanfare than most people might have hoped, a fairly important milestone for video games was established. After multiple delays and months of hype and expectation, the opening of the Super Nintendo World marks the first time that the industry has engaged with the theme park business (and vice versa) on a large scale. It is the opening salvo of a strategy on Nintendo’s part that seems to establish parks and other real-world locations as a pillar of the company’s future business.The original plan for Super Nintendo World was to open it last summer as tourists flocked to Japan for the Tokyo Olympics — one of those perfectly sensible and rational plans that now in hindsight sounds so completely insane that it might as well have floated into our dimension from a parallel universe. A couple of delays later, the park is open, forming a major new area within the sprawling Universal Studios Japan lot in Osaka, but any plans for major launch events had to be scaled down in the face of ongoing COVID restrictions. The disappointment of the quiet launch is likely to evaporate once the restrictions are lifted and tourism to Japan resumes, whenever that may be. I’ve yet to find anyone who doesn’t view the park’s success as a foregone conclusion.Nintendo joins a pretty elite set of IP owners with this move, and in doing so enters a highly lucrative market As well they might. The importance of this launch from the perspective of the industry and the medium isn’t just that Nintendo has taken it into its mind to dip its toe into this side-business. If that were the case, we could view this as just a logical progression of the occasional appearances of video game IP on theme park rides over the years — or the more recent trend of VR-centric arcades that, at their most ambitious, sometimes start to border on the scale of parks. The key thing about Nintendo’s move here isn’t the size of what’s being executed — it’s actually fairly compact — it’s the ambition of creating a whole theme park area around their franchises. Not just a ride or interactive experience of some kind, but a whole park area where the selling point is that visitors will be deeply immersed in Nintendo’s creations from the moment they enter the park to the moment they leave.Doing that and making it work at scale takes cultural clout on a level that very few companies can claim. Disney’s parks are the prototype for the idea and remain its finest execution, including its recent extension of the concept to its Star Wars IP with the Galaxy’s Edge park area. Nintendo’s partner, Universal Studios, has good form with making this work on a smaller scale with individual IPs — the most notable of recent years being Harry Potter, whose zone in the Osaka park sits alongside the new Super Nintendo World lot. Nintendo joins a pretty elite set of IP owners with this move, in other words, and in doing so, enters what is potentially a highly lucrative market.Putting itself into the position where success in theme parks was possible has been the work of decades for Nintendo Theme parks, and all the various aspects of franchising, merchandising, concession sales, memberships and so on that are associated with them, are an enormous business. Just look at Disney’s results over the past year or so; the enormous success of Disney+ may have papered over the cracks to some extent, but the impact of COVID on the company’s parks around the world has taken a vast chunk out of the company’s revenue, even more so than the closing of cinemas in which it could show its movies. The scale of the impact on Disney’s bottom line only serves to highlight how important and lucrative the parks are to the company. It will be a long time, of course, before parks could ever form such a key part of Nintendo’s business — and note that, for now at least, Super Nintendo World is a partnership with Universal Studios, so the upside for Nintendo itself remains limited. This is a vital first step, though, and steady progress is already mapped out to some degree, with the next Nintendo park already planned to open in Florida in a few years’ time. Other key steps will come with time, and Super Nintendo World is actually quite a conservative first move; only a short train ride from Nintendo’s own Kyoto headquarters — all the better to maintain strict creative control and learn the ropes of this new business at an accelerated pace — and relatively limited in scope, with only two actual rides contained within the lovingly themed area. The company knows, no doubt, that the learning curve to go from video game creator to pulling off feats comparable to Disney’s “Imagineers” is going to be steep. It will be informative to watch and see how quickly it is able to move to expand and develop Super Nintendo World from its current form, and how effective the company is at keeping the park relevant and appealing for repeat visitors.As Nintendo’s parks start to expand and roll out elsewhere — and crucially, as they start to have an impact on the firm’s bottom line — plenty of other companies will no doubt start to wonder if their IP might also have what it takes to follow in Mario’s footsteps. However, it’s tough to imagine any other firm in the industry being able to pull off something like this right now. Putting itself into the position where success in the theme park field was possible has been the work of decades for Nintendo. It didn’t start with the defined objective of opening theme parks, of course, but the firm’s laser focus on positioning itself as a family entertainment brand — not in the sense of “family-friendly” that’s come to simply mean “inoffensive to cultural conservatives”, but rather in the sense of genuinely designing games to be played and enjoyed across generations — had the enormous side-benefit of making it into about the only games company that shares Disney’s core USP of tapping both parents’ nostalgia and kids’ excitement all at once.Related Jobs3D Artist – Mobile Studio – Midlands UK & Europe Big PlanetProducer Indie Game Studio France UK & Europe Big PlanetSenior C++ Unreal Programmer – PC and Console Studio – Austria South East Big PlanetDiscover more jobs in games That’s what’s truly crucial here. For something to really have the level of cultural recognition and cachet required to make a theme park work — for consumers to really want to go and spend such an amount of time and money, on an ongoing basis, on a franchise that’s been transformed into a destination — takes a very special kind of IP, one that has an appeal that’s both broad and deep, and that’s truly multi-generational in its reach. There’s a decent business in making something that appeals to traditional “gamer” demographics, and that has been the focus for the kinds of “VR arcade” efforts we’ve seen in recent years. But there’s a fantastic business in something that taps parents’ nostalgia and makes them excited both to visit themselves and to have a chance to introduce their own children to a beloved part of their childhood. Super Nintendo World and the overall push into parks and other venues will be a slow burn — it’s not going to transform Nintendo’s business overnight, but I suspect that in decades to come we’ll look back at this opening as a turning point. Notably, it’s not just the park that signals this new approach from the company; there’s a broader strategy on Nintendo’s part to extend its presence into bricks and mortar, which is also visible in the opening of Nintendo Stores in high-profile locations, joining the long-running Pokémon Store retail locations. These have proved enormously successful thanks to a very well executed and smart merchandising approach that keeps the firm’s offerings fresh, encourages repeat visits, transforms the stores into tourist destinations, and ultimately taps into exactly the same cross-generational nostalgia that will fuel footfall in the theme parks. Nintendo knows the goldmine its sitting on, and slowly, carefully, it’s transforming itself into a company that can leverage that to the fullest. Disney doesn’t need to start looking in the rear-view mirror — this is more respectful homage than challenge, especially given that Disney itself is barely scraping the surface of the potential of Star Wars and Marvel in this area of its business. But the rest of the industry may be a little unprepared for just how much Nintendo’s mainstream cultural presence and importance will soar in the coming decade or so should these initiatives really come to fruition.Celebrating employer excellence in the video games industry8th July 2021Submit your company Sign up for The Publishing & Retail newsletter and get the best of GamesIndustry.biz in your inbox. Enter your email addressMore storiesNintendo appointing Despicable Me studio head to board of directorsAnimation studio behind Mario movie gains influence as Illumination Entertainment CEO Chris Meledandri expected to join board next monthBy Brendan Sinclair 5 days agoNintendo reports record full-year profits as Switch nears 85m units soldAnd, despite forecasting decline, the platform holder expects console to beat Wii’s 101 million lifetime sales this yearBy James Batchelor 5 days agoLatest comments (1)Pablo Ariznabarreta Business Development Manager, Ark One StudiosA month ago Great article. I can’t help to wonder how things are going to evolve for Nintendo, but future looks promising indeed. 0Sign inorRegisterto rate and replySign in to contributeEmail addressPasswordSign in Need an account? Register now.
Share on Facebook Tweet on Twitter Bayonne CarePoint Health reaches deal for Cigna Health Insurance to join their network ElectionsJersey CityNewsPolitics & Policy By John Heinis – January 25, 2021 9:19 am 1 January 26, 2021 11:50 am at 11:50 am TAGS2021 jersey city mayoral race2021 jersey city municipal electionsangela mcknighthudson county democratic black caucusjerry walkersandra cunninghamsteven fulop SHARE Bayonne man pepper sprayed, arrested after punching cop in the face, authorities say RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Facebook Twitter The Hudson County Democratic Black Caucus, which includes state Senator Sandra Cunningham, Assemblywoman Angela McKnight (both D-31), County Commissioner Jerry Walker (D-3), and Board of Education Vice President Lekendrick Shaw, is endorsing Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop and his council slate.Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop and Hudson County Commissioner Jerry Walker.By John Heinis/Hudson County View“The investments that Jersey City is making in the Black community under Mayor Fulop’s leadership have the potential to be truly transformative. Mayor Fulop is addressing the needs of residents by creating new job and apprenticeship opportunities, ensuring that local residents will be ready to obtain high-paying jobs at major infrastructure programs like the Gateway project,” Walker said in a statement.“He’s also worked to improve city recreation programs and after school programs like Team Walker to give our children an outlet and opportunities to excel in sports and other activities.”Walker competed against Fulop in the 2013 mayoral contest, coming in a distant third place when Mayor Jerramiah Healy was unseated by the current incumbent.The Fulop campaign highlighted that this administration green lit a $120 million Public Safety Complex now under construction at the City Hall Annex at Jackson Square, redirecting numerous municipal functions as well as aiding local businesses.“Since my time in office, Mayor Fulop has shown to be a strong advocate for several initiatives and issues that I find valuable at the state level, from championing efforts to fund our public schools, supporting the establishment of a civilian complaint review board, and the referendum to help fund the arts; among other things,” added McKnight.“I welcome the opportunity to work with Mayor Fulop in 2021 and beyond to make Jersey City safer and to provide a better quality of life for all residents throughout the City.”The HCDBC also commended the administration for hiring more Black and Hispanic police officers, investing in body cameras, and pushing for more community policing on the city’s south side.In a letter to constituents, Cunningham cited Jersey City being the first to launch free COVID-19 testing sites, putting together a rideshare program with Via, as well as providing financial relief for renters and small businesses during COVID-19 as reasons for supporting Fulop.“These are just some of the reasons why I wholeheartedly, and without reservation, endorse Steven M. Fulop for re-election for the Mayor of Jersey City,” she wrote.The state senator’s late husband, former Mayor Glenn Cunningham (who also served as the senator of the 31st Legislative District) was a mentor to Fulop prior to his sudden passing in 2004.“Jersey City’s biggest strength is our people and our diversity, and I’m incredibly proud to have earned the support of some of the strongest leaders in the Black community,” Fulop explained.“It’s always been clear that our city won’t succeed without investing in every corner of our community, and making sure that the progress we’ve seen in some neighborhoods is extended to every other area and that we spread new opportunities to all of our residents are our highest priorities.”Fulop is running for his third term alongside a Council slate that includes incumbents Joyce Watterman, Daniel Rivera, Denise Ridley, Mira Prinz-Arey, Rich Boggiano, Yousef Saleh and Jermaine Robinson, as well as Hudson County Democratic Organization Chair Amy DeGise.They have not announced who will be challenging Ward E Councilman James Solomon as of yet, but that candidate is expected to be named soon.The HCDBC also includes County Register Diane Coleman, Watterman, Ridley and Robinson. Bayonne 1 COMMENT Editor’s note: This story was updated with a comment from state Senator Sandra Cunningham. Previous article$2M Jersey Cash 5 jackpot ticket, a record high, sold at Bayonne convenience storeNext articleJersey City pastor sentenced to 15 years in state prison for sexually assaulting 2 children John Heinis Gary Van Liew Bayonne Bayonne man busted with cocaine, heroin, semi-automatic handgun after fleeing from cops Hudson County Democratic Black Caucus endorses Team Fulop in Jersey City There’s nothing more disgusting than weak politicians with selective memory who sell out their constituents for personal reasons. Comments are closed.
After Edwards was arrested at his residence, he was transported to the Jefferson County Jail. Bond for the charges is set at $120,000.00.This is an ongoing investigation that involves both current and former employees from several divisions within the City of Port Arthur. Anyone having knowledge or information regarding these investigations is encouraged to come forward and contact Lt. M. Blitch at the Port Arthur Police Department or Assistant Chief M. Molfino at the Jefferson County District Attorney’s office. Three Port Arthur streets department employees were fired in October after an investigation indicated the trio had stolen gas on city-issued Fuelman cards.City Manager Brian McDougal at the time said an investigation into the theft allegations started about a month earlier, and three employees, Carlton Edwards, Steve Guidry and Randall Davis, were implicated. Guidry and Davis have not been arrested. Persons coming forward prior to being contacted or charged will be seen as assisting in the investigation and could receive consideration for their cooperation in this ongoing investigation. Carleton Edwards, 49, the former superintendent of the Streets Division for the city of Port Arthur, was arrested Thursday on 46 counts of credit card abuse.A joint investigation between the Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office and the Port Arthur Police Department uncovered Edwards’ abuse of a city of Port Arthur owned credit card. Edwards is accused of abuse of the credit card during his tenure as superintendent, spanning from July 2014 through October 2015.
Carolyn Griffiths has been elected as President of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers for 2017-18. The founding Chief Inspector of the UK’s Rail Accident Investigation Branch and currently a Non-Executive Director of Irish Rail, she succeeds Jon Hilton.