Nintendo, creator of such legendary video game franchises as Super Mario Bros. and Zelda, has applied to trademark the phrase “SUPER NINTENDO WORLD” for use with a variety of goods and services. Thanks to the public and conveniently current nature of the U.S. trademark online database, we now have more information about the amusement park attractions that this powerhouse game studio plans to build in Universal Studios’ Japan, California, and Florida locations.
These attractions, the existence of which was initially announced back in 2015, are estimated to cost $433 million to build. Nintendo and Universal Studios revealed the first details of their partnership in November of 2016, stating that their goal was to “bring the characters, action and adventure of Nintendo video games to life within Universal theme parks.” Nintendo also revealed late last year that it plans to open the first Super Nintendo World attraction in Osaka prior to the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.
On May 24, 2017, Nintendo, under the official name of Nintendo Co., Ltd., applied to register SUPER NINTENDO WORLD in International Classes 025 for “clothing,” 028 for “computer video game apparatus” and “toys,” 041 for “providing amusement parks services,” and 043 for “providing hotel accommodation services,” among other things. This application, Serial No. 87462048, was applied for on an intent-to-use basis, with a date of priority going back to December 9, 2016 to match the earlier Japanese foreign filing date. Interestingly, Nintendo also intends to use SUPER NINTENDO WORLD in connection with “mufflers,” “swimwear,” “toy building blocks,” “cards for trading card games,” “presentation of musical performances,” “restaurant services,” and “rental of exhibition spaces.”
Perhaps the most titillating tidbit of information contained in this SUPER NINTENDO WORLD trademark application is the mention of kart racing. Specifically, Nintendo has applied to use this mark in connection with “organization, management or arrangement of kart racing” and “organization, management or arrangement of motorcycle events and other events with vehicles,” seeming to indicate that real-life Mario Kart racing may become a possibility soon. Especially when paired with the “masquerade costumes” noted elsewhere in the same application. If recent game sales of Mario Kart are any indication, such a theme park ride would be massively popular: Mario Kart 8 Deluxe was April 2017’s best-selling game, despite being ported from a nearly 3-year-old product and released the last week of that month.
This trademark and its associated Super Nintendo World amusement park attraction are only the latest of Nintendo’s efforts to adapt the game studio’s IP into live entertainment experiences. This year, Nintendo has also been offering a Zelda-themed pseudo escape room called “Defenders of the Triforce” in certain North American and European cities. Unlike a typical escape room, “[i]nstead of escaping from a locked room, participants work in teams of six to solve a mystery in a huge area, all within a set time limit.”
These recent activities demonstrate that Nintendo continues to see its existing classic content as commercially viable, and that the company is willing to invest in new applications of old concepts. With any luck, we will see a Metroid music festival soon.
Author, Ma’idah Lashani, is an Associate at Morrison / Lee. When not playing games or training to be a plumber, Ma’idah is doing her legal thing in the areas of game dev and intellectual property.