Nintendo has signed a deal with Universal Parks & Resorts that could bring the beloved Mario, Link, and Luigi into theme parks.
Nintendo and Universal have teamed up to deliver themed rides and attractions to Universal's parks, the companies announced Thursday. Details of the arrangement are slim.
It's unknown right now which Nintendo characters will be featured or how they'll play a role in the entertainment. All the companies are saying is that characters and stories "will be brought to life in entirely new ways."
The decision to bring Nintendo characters to Universal theme parks is just the latest in a string of moves Nintendo has made to break out of its comfort zone. The company has historically been loath to share its characters and intellectual property with other companies or developers. While there have been Mario-based television shows and countless toys related to Nintendo property, the game company has been reluctant to share the wealth.
That changed in March when Nintendo announced that it would. The move is significant for Nintendo because it represents the first time the company has decided to offload its characters and story lines to any platform it doesn't own. The decision enables the company to compete not only with its rivals in the console and handheld markets, but with also on the smartphones and tablets that consumers are using to play games.
Nintendo's deal with Universal came in tandem with the company's fiscal 2015 earnings release. Nintendo's performance during its past fiscal year, which ended March 31, was stronger than expected. The company had a profit of 41.8 billion yen ($350 million) on sales of nearly 550 billion yen ($4.6 billion) in its fiscal year. Nintendo lost 23.2 billion yen ($194.2 million) in the prior fiscal year.
Nintendo did not immediately respond to a request for comment.