The CEO of Universal Studios Japan remained coy when asked which Nintendo franchises would be next to be turned into theme park attractions at Super Nintendo World.
The Osaka-based theme park world was officially opened on Thursday, at a ceremony featuring Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto. The attraction reportedly took six years and 60 billion yen ($550 million) to build, and includes shops, restaurants and two rides based on Yoshi and Mario Kart.
So far everything at Super Nintendo World is based on the Super Mario franchise. According to reports, Universal Studios is already pushing ahead with plans to expand the park with a Donkey Kong-themed world, and there’s plenty of evidence to suggest this is the case.
However, asked by CNN on Thursday when it plans to turn other Nintendo IPs into theme park worlds, USJ CEO Jean-Louis Bonnier reportedly wouldn’t say which game it would incorporate, but confirmed that Universal “are going to continue to invest in this park”.
As reported in VGC’s Super Nintendo World review, which we covered during three days of early access, Super Nintendo World features a locked door hidden towards the north of the park with a very DK-esque design.
While Universal is yet to officially announced a Donkey Kong expansion for Super Nintendo World, information alluding to the potential plans have circulated as far back as 2019.
Images showing a concept model for Super Nintendo World first suggested the park was planning to add a Donkey Kong area. The images showed a new world themed on the more modern Retro Studios Donkey Kong Country games, including a mine cart rollercoaster ride.
Then last year, Bloomberg’s Kurumi Mori claimed that Universal was “already building” the rumoured Donkey Kong world next door to Super Nintendo World.
Super Nintendo World’s opening had been delayed more than once by the coronavirus pandemic. The park was originally due to open in time for the 2020 Olympic Games last summer, but its grand opening was eventually delayed to February 2021, and then again due to the State of Emergency in Osaka.
Following the Japan opening, Super Nintendo World is scheduled to come to Universal’s Orlando, Hollywood and Singapore parks.
Florida’s version of Super Nintendo World has reportedly been delayed until 2025, while construction has resumed on the Hollywood version, which is said to be smaller in scale than the others and will likely open sooner.