Companies need to move on with the times in order to remain relevant in the face of change, otherwise they would end up in the way of the dodo. The game Monopoly knows this. Many of us did grow up with Monopoly, and who can forget the frustrating moments when the roll of the die never really fell in your favor for you to complete a ‘set’ so that you can start to build hotels? Well, it seems that the iconic player pieces found in the game of Monopoly might be retired, to be replaced instead by emoji faces and hashtags that are more reflective of the 21st century. Perhaps it is another strategy to help attract youth to the game, since such simple board games no longer appeal to the younger generation these days who prefer to indulge in video games and a more digitally interactive environment. Board games? More like “Bored Games”, the youth would retort.
The traditional racecar, or the old boot, might no longer be there. Rather, you could end up with the likes of a dinosaur, a bathtub, or perhaps a hashtag symbol. If this were to be the case, then it would mark the very first time through Monopoly’s 82-year history that these iconic player pieces might not make the cut, being replaced with something that the younger generation are able to identify with. It would be a watershed moment for Hasbro, the toymaker that owns Monopoly, as they open up the floodgates of public opinion to decide as to whether they ought to replace these game pieces with something that will resonate more with the times.
Having launched VoteMonopoly.com on Tuesday this week, Hasbro would like to use that particular website for Netizens to pick eight figurines (otherwise known as “tokens”) to be featured in its upcoming version of the game. There are 64 suggestions in total to choose from, and 56 of those are totally new. The remaining 8? The classics, such as the thimble, racecar, top hat, boot, and cat, are there for the pickings.
As for the remaining 56 suggestions, all of these are a clear reflection of what pop culture and social media bring to the table. Hasbro intends to crowdsource all of the votes, giving the world until the end of this month to decide. Unlike other kinds of competitions, there will not be a limit set on the number of times that you are able to vote -- although something in me asks whether this is a foolproof plan, as any weakness in the voting system might be exploited and bots could take advantage of the situation to swing the outcome of the result in a particular token's favor.
Needless to say, the tokens that receive the highest number of votes will enter production at the end of January 2017. Only the top 8 will make the cut, and there is always a high chance that nostalgia will not be able to save the day in this particular case. Expect the latest version of Monopoly to hit retail store shelves this Fall for $20 thereabouts.