Nintendo: Theme Park Strategy (Quick Comments)

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Jakerno, The Key to Progression, Timo Majersky –  Pokémon Red Version “Out of the Palace”


The charm offensive continues! Man, it looks like I’m going to be doing a lot more of these Nintendo videos, even after four of them.

Shortly after I launched my video on Nintendo’s business strategy with the Switch, the company announced details on its venture with Universal Parks & Resorts to create Nintendo theme parks. Since I’m covering Nintendo for my vlog, I thought I’d give an update and some quick comments.

In the coming years, the joint venture will launch Nintendo-based entertainment within Universal theme parks in Orlando, Los Angeles and Osaka. Based on Universal management’s statements, it looks like Nintendo will be following the theme park within a theme park strategy utilized by the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. The Wall Street Journal notes that Comcast, the owner of Universal Studios, saw theme park revenue grow 60% to $1.4B in the third quarter alone, thanks to the recent launch of a Harry Potter theme park in LA. Not surprising, in my view, as I’ve been pretty vocal about the power of intellectual property to draw in customers.

Watching the official Nintendo announcement video on the theme parks made me think even deeper about the social, physical experience that Nintendo is trying to create. You go to theme parks with friends, just as, ideally, you play the Switch with your friends. This emphasis on a physical, social experience separates Nintendo from hardcore gaming and smartphones, which go in the opposite direction of consumers gaming in their own individual spaces. I wonder if this was all part of the late Iwata-san’s plan all along.

Nintendo and only Nintendo can do this because of its IP. But the payoff from this potential grand strategy still a long way off. We’ll have to see what happens.

Ramon Rodrigo Cuenca, CFA
Equities Analyst
Art and Finance

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