Game Marketing Tips, Analysis, and News

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Sign of the Apocalypse: Cyborg Monopoly

Monopoly, complete with unnecessary electronics.
Hasbro has figured out that they can make more money selling a $50 version of Monopoly instead of a $15 version. How do you justify a $50 price tag? Why, by adding an electronic tower in the middle that watches your every move, keeps track of all the money, and rolls the dice for you. They've even changed the rules a bit to take advantage of the fact that all the random events are stored in the electronics. The tower uses infrared to track the pieces, and you "roll the dice" by cupping your hand over your piece. The tower then makes fake dice rolling noises and tells you the result.

I have nothing against a $50 board game; some of my favorites are in that category. But what I like to get for $50 is high quality: Nice components, amazing artwork on the board, miniatures, an array of visual and tactile sensations. This monstrosity seems to be the worst of both boardgames and electronic boardgames, rather than the best of each.

On the other hand, it did get a mention in the New York Times, and on this blog. Really, is this the best Toy Fair can produce? I hope not.

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