The acquisition of DreamWorks by NBC Universal has led to uncertainty for the roll out of Merlin Entertainments’ Shrek’s Adventure midway attractions, reports ALVA.
Merlin and DreamWorks have an initial deal for six of the attractions, the first of which opened in London in 2015.
Shrek’s Adventure! London is the first attraction to bring to life DreamWorks’ characters. The immersive, story-based experience incorporates state-of-the-art technology and live theatrical performances.
This deal will stand, but there have been no guarantees for future Shrek’s Adventure attractions from Universal. Merlin must now consider whether to switch to another IP to continue the format. Given that the concept has been proved, and the plethora of IP holders looking to get in on attractions, there are likely to be other partners available for Merlin if Universal back away.
Merlin’s CEO Nick Varney is reported to have said in an earnings call, “We were pleased with the London attraction and it’s doing well. What we don’t have from Universal is a guarantee that beyond these six we can continue to roll out more. And so right now we are assessing whether we are going to do the other five, whether we are going to switch to another IP or, basically, selectively do ones in big city centres where we think they’d do well.”