Multi-year creative alliance promises interactive theme park entertainment kicking off soon.

It’s barely been a week since Universal Studios Japan announced that it will be expanding its Super Nintendo World by building a brand-new Donkey Kong zone. That already put a visit to the Osaka theme park onto the itinerary wish list for video game fans, and USJ is keeping the accelerator down with another amazing revelation: it’s entering into a partnership with the Pokémon franchise!

Details are still scarce, but USJ describes the agreement as a “creative alliance.” The plan isn’t just to put up a few Pokémon standees around the park, either, as the parties say they’ll be working together to create “interactive entertainment” in which “the real and virtual worlds will come together creating a revolutionary theme park experience.”

▼ The announcement tweet

It’s worth pointing out that while the mainline Pokémon titles have appeared exclusively on Nintendo hardware, the games are actually made by a completely different company, Game Freak, with the Pokémon Company controlling the rights to the overall franchise. Because of that, USJ’s pre-existing partnership with Nintendo wasn’t in and of itself a green light to Pikachu and the other Pocket Monsters eventually showing up in the park, and the Pokémon-themed attractions aren’t being planned for within the Super Nintendo World sections of USJ.

▼ USJ president J.L. Bonnier and Pokémon Company CEO Tsunekazu Ishihara, smiling like two guys who know their organizations’ fans are going to like what they have in store for them.

The promise of interactive entertainment is especially exciting, considering how many clever ways USJ’s Super Mario attractions adapted the series’ gameplay elements to physical space, and blending real and virtual worlds is something that’s already been proven can work extremely well for Pokémon by Pokémon GO.

“This strategic alliance with Universal Studios Japan reflects our commitment to continue delivering the joy of Pokémon in ever evolving ways for years to come,” says Ishihara. Fans, no doubt, still have plenty of questions about what exactly the new attractions are going to be, but the answers are going to be fun to find out, and USJ says that it will “immerse guests into the world of Pokémon with innovative technology and creativity beginning in 2022.”

Source: Universal Studios Japan via Otakomu
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Insert images: Universal Studios Japan
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Follow Casey on Twitter, where he’s hoping they’ll sell those awesome Magikarp taiyaki cakes at USJ.