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Media & Entertainment

Opening of Nintendo theme park in Osaka delayed again by COVID

Japan's state of emergency threatens company's ambitions to expand beyond gaming

Universal Studios Japan said it was postponing the opening of Super Nintendo World until after the COVID-19 state of emergency is lifted, which is expected after Feb. 7. 

TOKYO -- The rapid rise in coronavirus infections in Japan has again delayed the opening of Nintendo's first Mario-themed park in Universal Studios in Osaka, putting the gaming company's ambitions on hold.

Theme park operator Universal Studios Japan announced Thursday that the company has pushed back the much-anticipated opening of Super Nintendo World to after Feb. 7, when the government's newly declared COVID-19 state of emergency is expected to end. The theme park was meant to open on Feb. 4.

This is not the first time USJ has had to postpone the opening. Super Nintendo World was originally supposed to open last summer but had been pushed back to spring 2021 due to the pandemic. USJ said it would operate the rest of the park as usual.

Nintendo has been on a quest to promote its gaming characters, such as Mario, to draw in players. In an interview with Nikkei Asia last year, President Shuntaro Furukawa said: "By brand-building and rousing consumer interest, we want more people to become interested in playing our software and hardware."

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