For more than a century, the Hasbro/Parker Brothers board game MONOPOLY has been a popular American pastime. Originally developed in 1903—but not officially published until 1935—the game challenges players to invest in properties and generate wealth through real estate ownership. At a time when most Americans were truly struggling (emerging in the middle of the Great Depression), the game helped to encourage the economic theories of Henry George.
Not much has changed about the game over the better part of the last century. Sure, the board got a few upgrades and it is now licensed in more than 100 countries, printed in at least three dozen languages. With that expansion, the company found other ways to release off shoots of the game including Monopoly Jr (where you operate an amusement park) and a USAopoly license to publish a San Diego version of the game.
And there have been other small changes that kept with the tradition but with some updates for modern sensibilities. For example, the September 2006 US edition called Monopoly Here and Now saw a new version that featured US landmarks with new properties chosen by voters (and new monetary values). The most recent version of the game features an electronic debit card system instead of classic paper money. To date there have been approximately 300 versions of the game published throughout the world.
While only a recent development, crowdsourcing the new material seems to work well for Hasbro and so the company has opted to take the same approach for the next version of the game, which will feature brand new tokens. The tokens have been a staple for Monopoly since its inception so this is quite a dramatic shift. Still, staying current with trends might be a wise choice.
Berkowitz goes on to say, “We’re always listening to our fan base,” said Berkowitz. “They’re very engaged with the brand, especially on Facebook. We want them to continue to weigh in with ideas.”
As such, Hasbro has announced a new MONOPLY Token Madness campaign that will let fans choose the next version of the game which could feature 8 brand new tokens. Berkowitz commends, “Only time will tell if fans will decide to stay with the classics, keep a few favorites or pick an entirely new line up of tokens.”
Yes, fans will get to pick the next MONOPOLY tokens, with 56 options—featuring crying, kissy face and laughter emoji as well as Mr. Monopoly and the hashtag token—to choose from.