By Fay Schlesinger
Monopoly celebrates 75th anniversary with a new round board… and no cash
Gone are the £400 property bargains, the silver playing pieces – and the opportunity to sneak a note out of the banker’s box.
Monopoly unveiled a radical makeover yesterday to mark its 75th anniversary.
The new version, called Monopoly Revolution, uses electronic banking instead of paper money.
Players move plastic playing pieces around a circular board with sound effects played over speakers in the centre, on a device that takes their ‘credit cards’ and keeps tabs on the financial transactions.
Property values, which have remained virtually unchanged since the game’s launch in 1935, have also been updated to come closer to reflecting modern prices.
Mayfair, which used to cost £400 is now £4million while Kings Cross Station, which previously cost £200, has risen to £2million.
Old Kent Road is still the cheapest but, at £600,000, is not the £60 bargain it used to be.
An estimated one billion people have played the game since it was designed by Charles Darrow on a square of linoleum.
Despite the overhaul, which removes the need for players to use mental arithmetic, makers Hasbro insist that wheeling and dealing skills remain central to the game.
It is not the first money-free Monopoly ever launched, but the sound effects and technology make it the most modern version so far.
The game follows the trend in the West towards a ‘cashless society’.
However, a 2007 survey showed that three out of four people were unhappy with the idea of giving up notes and coins in the real world.