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Nintendo’s big year is about more than games

U.S.-LOS ANGELES-UNIVERSAL STUDIOS HOLLYWOOD-SUPER NINTENDO WORLD-OPENING
Photo by Zeng Hui / Xinhua via Getty Images

Nintendo is a company whose success ebbs and flows. The glory days give way to lean periods, but things inevitably rebound. It happens in cycles. The quiet times of the GameCube gave way to the breakout mainstream popularity of the Wii. The humbling days of the Wii U are what paved the way for the transformative success of the Switch. And now, on the eve of the launch of what could be the biggest game of the year, we might just be seeing Nintendo at the peak of its powers.

What’s notable about this particular moment is how it extends beyond video games. It started earlier in the year when Nintendo launched Super Nintendo World in Los Angeles, a theme park attraction at Universal Studios Hollywood. (It followed a similar attraction in…

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