In order to promote their new Monopoly City game, Hasbro, Toy & board game company that owns Monopoly, has launched on the 9th of September an online version of their game.
I am sure everyone has already played Monopoly, even if it is a long time ago as a kid so I won't remind you the rules!
However, the great thing about this game is that you won't be playing on a traditional board with a limited number of streets to buy. In fact, the number of streets is almost unlimited as the board is the world! That's right, you can buy pretty much any street in the world!
How is that possible? Hasbro has integrated its game to the powerful Google maps. This type of "mashups" are commonly used and lets any developer play with Google maps in order to create a new tool or information app. If you are interested in seeing other examples, go to this page.
The game play of the new Monopoly Streets is slightly different from the classic one we all know. In this one, they have improved the constructions from little green and red plastic houses to actual buildings at different prices. You can also sabotage your opponent's streets by placing hazard buildings such as prisons or sewage plants!
On the online version of the game that you can find at www.monopolycitystreets.com, anyone can join. It's basically a game with an unlimited number of players! When someone joins in, the new player receives 3 million Monopoly dollars with which he can buy streets and constructions and if you're lucky, receive Chance cards! In order to make money, you need to wait until the next turn, which is the next day and receive rent from your streets/hotels. This one you hopefully get richer and richer and climb your way up to the 6th level.
I find this new Monopoly City game quite similar to another board game I used to play as a child called Hotels where you would place real cardboard constructions on your properties!
Monopoly City Streets had such an amazing success in its first several days that the company decided to reset the game from scratch! After logging in yesterday, I had a message announcing me this decision. While I didn't really care as I had only played for 3 days, this might be a pretty bad announcement for the tens of thousands of players who had already built a nice real estate empire around the world! Monopoly City Streets victim of its success after just 9 days of gameplay!
However, I think this will give a good chance to all the people who read or heard about the game several days after its launch. Most big cities were already all owned and it wasn't that much fun to play as you would struggle to find an available street!
Anyway, this game will be running for 4 months unless they decide to extend that period.
I really believe this is one of the greatest online promotions so far as it people really get involved in it. If people want to optimise their chance of winning and making more money, they need to sign in as often as possible so most of them will do so on a daily basis.
If someone can think of something else that brings hundreds of thousands of people (if not more) on your site every single day for 4 months, well let me know! I am sure the phenomenon will slowly lose its popularity but it's still a great way for Hasbro to remind everyone they have a great game out there, especially when all the kids are leaving board games for xbox, PSP and Wii consoles! It is too soon to tell, but it would be interesting to see how many board games they sold before and following that promotion.
If anyone of you has some information, let me know!
In the meantime, enjoy the game! My username on the site is 'Hadrien' if you want to spy on me :) And yes, I own Woodstock Street!
Oh one last thing, you can of course follow the developpers on Twitter!