The Pokémon Company and Universal Studios Japan have announced a collaboration for a mysterious new virtual reality experience. Nintendo presently operates a Super Nintendo World attraction at Universal Studios Japan, with plans to expand to Universal Studios Hollywood, Orlando, and Singapore by 2025. Unfortunately, the ongoing COVID-19 epidemic has hampered these efforts, forcing Super Nintendo World to temporarily lock its doors less than a month after its grand launch in March.
So far, Super Nintendo World’s rides and attractions have centered on Mario, with visitors riding the interactive Mario Kart rollercoaster, dining at the Toad Café, unlocking exclusive Miitopia character costumes with special interactive wristbands, and even engaging in pleasant conversation with fully-voiced characters such as Princess Peach.
However, there are future plans for Super Nintendo World to expand into non-Mario Nintendo titles, as shown by a forthcoming Super Nintendo World Donkey Kong expansion based on the equally popular character. Now, it appears that Pokémon may be joining the theme park fun soon, albeit it’s too soon to say.
On October 6, Universal Studios Japan announced that it would launch a relationship with The Pokémon Company in 2022. So far, there are few details about what this collaboration will bring (the release makes no mention of any Pokémon attractions at Super Nintendo World). Still, Universal Studios Japan’s announcement does mention plans to develop an interactive virtual experience that will “immerse guests into the world of Pokémon.”
Both J.L. Bonnier, President and CEO of Universal Studios Japan, and Tsunekazu Ishihara, President, and CEO of The Pokémon Company, expressed delight about the long-term agreement between their firms.
This new collaboration with Universal Studios Japan comes as fans continue to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Pokémon series this year. To commemorate the occasion, Nintendo will release numerous Pokémon games for Nintendo Switch in the following years, including the upcoming Pokémon Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl and the open-world Pokémon Legends: Arceus.
According to rumors, there will be more significant Pokémon announcements in 2022, thus the specifics of the Universal Studios relationship may be connected to future disclosures.
It’s too soon to tell if the VR experience described by The Pokémon Company and Universal Studios Japan will be part of Super Nintendo World or something entirely different. Still, the idea of exploring the vast world of Pokémon and interacting with its assortment of titular collectible creatures is certainly intriguing. However, these ideas may take some time to materialize because the recently announced collaboration between The Pokémon Company and Universal Studios Japan does not take effect until next year.