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New partnership formed between The Pokémon Company and Universal Studios Japan - Pokémon attractions to feature in the theme park from 2022

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Universal Studios Japan and The Pokémon Company have today jointly announced the formation of a new, long-term creative partnership for theme park experiences. While no specific dates were given, the partnership is promised to deliver its first new theme park experiences at Universal Studios Japan starting from some time in 2022.

Universal Studios globally already have a creative partnership with Nintendo, first announced back in May 2015. The first Super Nintendo World opened at Universal Studios Japan in March of this year, after initially beginning construction in June 2017. Work continues on the Super Nintendo World at Universal Studios Hollywood, Orlando, and Singapore theme parks, though the earliest opening date we have for any of these locations is 2025. With today's new partnership, it's possible that Pokémon characters will be incorporated into these Nintendo themed areas in future.

The rather brief press release today gives little detail as to the exact nature of the "groundbreaking" and "interactive entertainment" being worked on with this partnership, other than that it is "combining innovative technology and extraordinary creativity" and "will immerse guests into the world of Pokémon". Given the long timeframes for the construction of new areas as part of the Nintendo partnership, we can only presume these experiences will in some way avoid the need for large scale construction projects, either re-purposing existing facilities, and/or perhaps involving something like a virtual or augmented reality attraction.

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The CEOs of each company each made equally brief statements on the new partnership.

J.L. Bonnier - President and CEO - Universal Studios Japan LLC said:
Pokémon is beloved by fans around the world. We are honored to have a long-term partnership with The Pokémon Company while developing groundbreaking Pokémon entertainment at Universal Studios Japan for both Pokémon fans and our guests. The globally popular Pokémon characters combined with Universal’s innovative approach to creating authentic and one-of-a-kind theme park entertainment promise excitement for the entire family. Our efforts to develop new guest experiences will continue to help reinvigorate the tourism market.

Tsunekazu Ishihara - President and CEO - The Pokémon Company said:
The incredible team at Universal Studios Japan have the creative vision and leading expertise in world-class theme park technology to imagine a uniquely Pokémon experience. For 25 years, Pokémon has curated a legacy of trendsetting innovation while becoming one of the most beloved entertainment brands in the world through video games, animation, and more. 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. We are looking forward to the day when we can welcome fans from around the world to all enjoy it together.
 
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