We’ve been waiting for this news to break since the middle of March, but now it’s finally happened: a new report says Universal Studios Japan is delaying the opening of its new Super Nintendo World indefinitely. The new land, which has been in the works for years, was originally going to open next month, but the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has seemingly put those plans on hold.
IGN points us to an article from NHK World-Japan, the international arm of a major Japanese public broadcaster, which reports that Universal Studios Japan plans to postpone its Super Nintendo World opening at the company’s theme park in Osaka for an indefinite amount of time.
The initial plans were to have the park open in time for the Tokyo Olympics, which were supposed to kick off on July 24, 2020. But in late March, the Olympics were pushed back to the summer of 2021, removing some of the perceived urgency for the new land to open in that window. Construction of Super Nintendo World, including the attractions and restaurants, evidently cost around $560 million and is reportedly almost complete. But Universal Studios Japan knows that the land, the first theme park to heavily feature popular characters like Mario and Yoshi, will draw lots of new visitors, and since Japan has handled the pandemic far better than the United States, science and common sense is winning out over economics.
After shutting down in the immediate aftermath of the pandemic, Universal Studios Japan reopened its main park on June 8 to visitors from the local Kansai area, and essentially cut its daily visitor numbers in half.
The company doesn’t have a potential timetable in place yet for the opening of Super Nintendo World, and that new land is also supposed to be coming to parks at Universal’s Epic Universe in Orlando, Universal Studios Hollywood, and Universal Studios Singapore – but no firm timetables are in place for those openings, either, and we have to imagine that the pandemic will also result in delays to the company’s early plans for them.
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