Nintendo Land isn’t just a Wii U game anymore.
Nintendo and Universal Parks & Resorts said today that the two companies would team up to build Nintendo-themed attractions in Universal’s parks, “creating spectacular, dedicated experiences based on Nintendo’s wildly popular games, characters and worlds,” according to a release.
The move is in line with Nintendo’s desire to bring in more money by doing more to license and exploit its popular franchises like Mario and Legend of Zelda. Universal has theme parks in California, Florida, Osaka and Singapore.
Nintendo said that specific details would arrive later. The company has posted its first yearly profit since 2011, it said Thursday. The Wii U maker reported operating income of 24.7 billion yen (about $207 million) on sales of 549 billion yen (about $4.5 billion). It’s a slim margin to be sure, but it’s sure to be better received by investors than the previous three years of red ink. It also beat Nintendo’s forecasts of 20 billion yen in operating income.
The Kyoto firm projects 50 billion yen in operating income for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2016, noting that “a new source of revenue is expected from a gaming application for smart devices which will be released this year.”
Sales of the Nintendo 3DS portable were quite a bit lower than forecast; Nintendo originally intended to sell 12 million of the devices this year, but only ended up selling 8.73 million, down from 12.2 million last year. That’s even after the launch of the New Nintendo 3DS hardware line. Wii U sales got a modest bump, from 2.72 million units last year to 3.38 million this year.
Nintendo’s president Satoru Iwata will give a presentation to investors later today discussing the results. At this presentation last year, Nintendo announced its line of Amiibo interactive figurines. It’s possible that Iwata could drop a similarly significant piece of news at this year’s briefing—perhaps more details on Nintendo’s mobile push, its long-promised “Quality of Life” product, or another totally unexpected announcement.
Although a partnership with Universal will probably suffice.
This story was updated shortly after publication with information about the Nintendo-Universal partnership.
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