Monopoly pressured to speed up for busy families

Brands are replacing real estate in a new version of the game as people find they have less time to pass 'Go' and collect $200.

By Jason Notte Jul 29, 2013 7:15AM
File photo of Monopoly board game (© Rick Bowmer/AP)America may still love trotting down to the local McDonald's (MCD) to play Monopoly, but has our impatience with the board game itself has made it too big to jail?

The Wall Street Journal reports that Hasbro's (HAS) new take on Monopoly, Monopoly Empire, is ditching real estate for brands and attempting to cut the time spent playing a typical game down to 30 minutes.

Though the Journal initially reported that the original game's "jail" spots were cut out for the sake of brevity -- as was seemingly the case after the recent financial crisis -- Hasbro clarified to The Huffington Post that "jail" was still on the board and the same rules apply.

The new game features flashy gold tokens and replaces Boardwalk, Park Place and other real estate with brands including McDonald's, Coca-Cola (KO) and Xbox -- the last of which is owned by Microsoft (MSFT), which also owns moneyNOW. It's part of a continued effort at Hasbro to relate to kids, who have been shying away from traditional toys and saddled the company with disappointing earnings in the second quarter.

While typical culprits such as increased after-school activities and ubiquitous video games abound, those usual suspects pale in comparison to the threat posed by the Apple (AAPL) iPad and Google (GOOG) Android tablets. The devices steered boys away from aging toy brands just before Christmas last year, while Barbie's reluctance to connect is just one of her flaws that has girls turning away from her in droves and has parent company Mattel (MAT) seeking other options, including its Monster High brand.

As for Monopoly, families have so little time to play it that they can't even sacrifice a few minutes to learn how to play correctly and breeze through the game more quickly. As Huffington Post points out, the original game wouldn't be such a plodding chore if players followed one simple rule and stopped holding up the works for everyone else.

All it takes is a brief look at the instructions to tell players that if they don’t buy property on the spot, the bank puts it up for auction. Still, that trims the game to only 60 to 90 minutes.

More on moneyNOW

Jul 29, 2013 12:02PM
Really?  A faster monopoly?  Of course!  Hurry and let's forget our family game time so we can all go back to our Ipads and Iphones and other crap we play all day anyway.
Jul 29, 2013 11:58AM

It is sad to see a great game go down the tubes because of children's lack of attention span nowadays.

Jul 29, 2013 12:37PM
Call me old fashioned, but I will not be playing nor buying for others a game that is a thinly veiled means of advertising.  I also still play the version with money, as this was always a great way for kids to master basic math skills.
Jul 29, 2013 12:23PM
that's the thing what is wrong with this country; too big a hurry to stop and smell the roses; or coffee.
Jul 29, 2013 12:24PM
glad I still have my old Monopoly game; might be a collectors item one day.
Jul 29, 2013 12:24PM

The "ADD" generation. lol

Can't even sit long enough to play a strategic board game.  But since people these days can't even have face to face conversations or actually get a date without a web service or having "Smart Phone withdrawal", guess this was just the next step.

Jul 29, 2013 12:37PM

They have to make the game more "real," because with 80% of the population almost shut out of the real estate market because of marginal wages, the chances of buying real estate and getting rich are practically non-existant.

How about making it more realistic still.  You start the game like with the old board and rules, but instead every square is already owned by the bank or wealthy and there is a hotel on every square.  You start with 60 thousand in debt from education costs and on the first roll and movement you land on any square and instantly you are bankrupt and out of the game.  See that makes the game faster still.


Jul 29, 2013 12:48PM
Removing jail from a financial game may be appropriate for our times, as the past few years have proven that nothing is ilea gal in finance any more!!!
Jul 29, 2013 12:54PM

Funny, because people have been finding ways to speed up the game from the start.  When I was young, we commonly used shortcuts to speed up the game and those shortcuts became part of the normal rules for us.  I doubt if even half the people I played with bothered to read the official rules and obviously most players never followed those rules.


The game should be left alone, the players seemed to do a good enough job playing the game their own way.

Jul 29, 2013 1:42PM
If people would play Monopoly by the actual rules it's not that long of a game. Unfortunately nobody I've ever met plays it correctly, and it adds 2 hours of nonsense to it.
Jul 29, 2013 12:56PM

I grew up playing games like "Square Mile" (you buy raw real estate, subdivide, improve, and sell for a profit allowing you to buy more), "Broker" (a stock market game where you buy shares in companies and you move the price of the stocks around using cards that tell you whether the trend of the market goes up or down and by how many points for each company), and of course "Monopoly."  Good old capitalistic games.

Jul 29, 2013 2:22PM

Shorten the time to play? Ever heard of a game called Axis and Allies? 6 to 8 hours. Love that game . Risk on steroids.

Jul 29, 2013 2:09PM
Who wants to play Monopoly and not be shooting for Park Place and Boardwalk.....
Jul 29, 2013 6:39PM
Really!!!!  Brand placement in a family game that has been around for 110 years? Screw YOU Hasbro !!!
Jul 29, 2013 1:52PM
Deal out the properties equally  at the start of the game....makes for a much faster game.
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