Bloomberg is reporting that Universal Studios Japan is again postponing the opening of their Super Nintendo World expansion to the massive theme park in the face of increased spreading of coronavirus.
The theme park, located near Osaka, was slated to open on February 4. However, recent government restrictions on non-essential travel and activities has moved the park's management to put the opening on indefinite hiatus. They plan to decide on a new opening date once the current state of emergency orders have been lifted.
Reportedly costing some $580 million USD to build, Super Nintendo World is one of the biggest projects undertaken by USJ. It was originally supposed to open last summer, to coincide with the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, but the opening was postponed to February, a target date now rendered moot.
The Nintendo themed expansion was intended to bring to life characters and environments from the company's most popular franchises. Visitors would be able to collect virtual coins as they explore and interact with the park, including the use of Switch consoles at various points. News on the park has slowly been released, with photos and videos being shared last year, as well as a sneak peak of the food that will be available.
In the face of a record surge of new infections, the Japanese government expanded its state of emergency orders beyond the Tokyo region to encompass other major economic hubs including Osaka.
Food For Thought
Much like Disney and their Star Wars Galaxies park, the Super Nintendo World park is still technically under construction, though construction activities have likely also been suspended or scaled back in light of the pandemic. Reportedly, a Donkey Kong themed sub-section was still being built. As long as there is at least minimal maintenance against environmental damage, the park could open and be ready to go almost at any moment. The only complications remains the vaccination programs and how they're rolled out in Japan. Realistically, summer might be the earliest the park could expect to open, and it could very well be late in the summer when it does.