Pokemon Theme Park Is One Step Closer to Reality

We could finally be getting the Pokemon theme park of our dreams. The Pokemon Company and Universal Studios Japan have announced a long-term partnership that starts in 2022. No plans for a theme park have been announced yet, but Universal Studios Japan is also the home of the recently opened Super Nintendo World, a theme park land built to resemble a world from a Super Mario game. "Universal Studios Japan and The Pokemon Company will enter a long-term partnership to jointly explore groundbreaking entertainment that will immerse guests into the world of Pokemon with innovative technology and creativity beginning in 2022," the two companies announced in a press release. 

No official announcement was made about a Pokemon theme park, but both companies acknowledged what the partnership seemed to indicate. "The incredible team at Universal Studios Japan have the creative vision and leading expertise in world-class theme park technology to imagine a uniquely Pokemon experience," said Tsunekazu Ishihara, President and CEO of The Pokemon Company. "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."

"We are honored to have a long-term partnership with The Pokemon Company while developing groundbreaking Pokémon entertainment at Universal Studios Japan for both Pokemon fans and our guests," said J.L. Bonnier, President and CEO of Universal Studios Japan. "The globally popular Pokemon characters combined with Universal's innovative approach to creating authentic and one-of-a-kind theme park entertainment promise excitement for the entire family."

The Pokemon Company has opened or licensed a variety of different temporary attractions over the year, mostly in Japan. The Pikachu Outbreak Festival was a hugely popular annual event, in which hundreds of thousands of visitors traveled to Yokohama to see dozens of mascot Pikachu invade the city. Niantic, the makers of Pokemon Go, has also ran a number of live events that had strong attendance.

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Obviously, a Pokemon theme park would have huge implications for both the theme park industry and Pokemon fans around the world. Universal Studios Orlando is also constructing a Super Nintendo World land, so it's even possible that a successful Pokemon-themed land could make its way to the United States. Stay tuned for more news.