Walt Disney (DIS) has very few rivals when it comes to families. The company offers a brand of entertainment that generally spans all ages. That’s part of what has made the Disney+ streaming service so popular, and it’s a major driver for its theme parks.
Disney World and Disneyland attract families because they offer inoffensive entertainment that’s appropriate for all ages. In recent years, Disney has grown up a little bit, winking to adults more, but it’s generally pretty mild.
One of its chief rivals, Nintendo (NTDOF) has also built its business on being a family-friendly brand. Characters like Mario, Zelda, and Donkey Kong appeal to all ages and will soon be part of Disney’s biggest theme park rival, as Super Nintendo World joins Comcast’s (CMCSA) Universal Studios.
That move will pair two of Disney’s rivals against the Mouse House giving Universal Studios its biggest addition since the company’s huge bet on Harry Potter. Disney. however, isn’t taking this new threat lightly, so it’s going after Nintendo in an area where the company has been a market leader.
Disney Takes on Mario Kart
While Disney has a variety of videogames, and it has had its successes, it has never had a family-friendly hit franchise to equal “Mario Kart,” Nintendo’s combat driving game which has been a hit across multiple platforms since it was first introduced in 1992.
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Now, Disney has a game that looks suspiciously like Mario Kart and it’s very clear that it’s trying to steal some of its rival’s thunder. “Disney Speedstorm” follows the “Mario Kart” formula exactly. It uses popular Disney and Pixar characters, putting them behind the wheel of go-kart-like vehicles for races that include all sorts of shenanigans.
Drift into the ultimate hero-based combat racing game, set on high-speed circuits inspired by Disney and Pixar worlds. Choose from an incredible lineup of high-speed drivers and master each character’s unique skills on the racetrack and claim victory in this thrilling arcade racing experience. Customize your favorite racer’s suit, flashy kart livery, and show off stylish wheels and wings with the extensive customization features in the game! Racing together has never been easier! Speed through action-packed tracks solo, or challenge friends in local and remote multiplayer modes. You can even face off with players from around the globe to become an online legend.
That’s literally “Mario Kart,” but with Disney and Pixar characters. Disney plans to regularly add characters to the game which will be a free-to-play title with in-app purchases for Nintendo Switch, PlayStation5, PlayStation4, Xbox Series X|S, and Xbox One as well as on PC through Steam, Epic Games Store, Microsoft Store.
Disney and Nintendo Set to Battle
While Disney has been pretty blatant in its effort to knock off “Mario Kart,” that does not change the fact that the two companies will soon engage in an epic theme park battle. Super Nintendo World will be a “land” in Universal Studios Hollywood and a major part of Universal’s Epic Universe, its next Florida theme park.
Super Nintendo’s World’s signature attraction will be a live-action version of “Mario Kart.” Neither U.S. version of the park has opened yet, but the first Super Nintendo World has already opened in Japan. And, while it’s only expected to have two rides — one based on “Mario Kart,” and “Yoshi’s Adventure,” an all-ages attraction — the entire park is interactive.
Guests will wear special “Power-up Bands” so they can experience what is essentially a live version of the universe first created in the original “Super Mario Bros.” game. Essentially, Super Nintendo World gives Universal a next-level answer to Disney’s “Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge,” which could push the Mouse House to make more additions to Disney World and Disneyland.
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