ViacomCBS is diving into the entertainment center market in Asia, teaming up with China Leisure Development to develop a Nickelodeon-themed family destination in Shenzhen.
Nickelodeon Playtime will feature play areas for SpongeBob SquarePants, PAW Patrol, Dora the Explorer and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, as well as Nick-branded retail and café areas.
Set to open in Q4 2020, the new center taps into an increased demand for family entertainment spending in China, as well as strong demand for shopping hubs, according to a statement from China Leisure.
Other companies that have built immersive play destinations for the kids TV brands recently include: Mattel, which is developing a theme park with spaces dedicated to Barbie, Hot Wheels and Mega Construx brands; and Hasbro. which has inked a licensing deal with LA-based Kilburn Live to create, build and operate themed family entertainment hubs across North America to feature brands including My Little Pony, Monopoly, Battleship and Clue.
Last year, global family entertainment center business revenue was projected to more than double to US$40 million by 2025, up from US$18 million in 2017, according to Allied Market Research. But these predictions didn’t account for COVID-19. Since the start of 2020, once-popular birthday party hub Chuck E. Cheese filed for bankruptcy because of financial strain related to the pandemic, and more than 85,000 confirmed cases of the virus effectively halted all traffic to China’s entertainment destinations.