What Took Monopoly So Long To Get On Facebook?

By Jackie Cohen Comment

Electronic Arts has debuted Monopoly Millionaires on Facebook, and my first reaction to the news was: What took so long for that game get onto the social network?

When I searched the site for applications using just the word “Monopoly,” the EA version of the game shows up eighth, and the preceding results lead to pages with games that either don’t work, have nothing to do with the traditional board game, or appear to be placeholders for outbound links to versions of the game hosted on other sites. A page called Play Monopoly has banners linking to a version of Monopoly on Pogo.com, which is a division of Electronic Arts.

Monopoly has been available on gaming consoles, PC and Mac versions for years. EA released its latest version for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Wii during the third quarter of 2003, and that’s around when the game company’s Pogo.com division first launched the online version called Monopoly Here and Now: The World Edition.

Presumably, EA licenses the rights to Monopoly from its original creator, Parker Brothers, whose parent company Hasbro hosts an official version of the 75-year-old game on the company website. Now here’s some interesting trivia from Wikipedia:

Monopoly is a redesign of an earlier game “The Landlord’s Game,” first published by the Quaker and political activist Elizabeth Magie. The purpose of that game was to teach people how monopolies end up bankrupting the many and giving extraordinary wealth to one or few individuals.

Since the game was created, more than one billion people have played it, making it “the most played (commercial) board game in the world.” The 1999 Guinness Book of Records cited Hasbro’s previous statistic of 500 million people having played Monopoly. Games magazine has inducted Monopoly into its Hall of Fame. The mascot for the game, known as Mr. Monopoly or Rich Uncle Pennybags, is an elderly moustached man in morning dress with a walking cane and top hat.

None of this explains why it took so long for an official version of Monopoly to reach Facebook. I’m remembering what happened with Scrabble and the so-called impostor, Scrabulous — the former’s parent company Hasbro sued and now you can only play the EA version of the game on the social network. That whole drama likely influenced the evolution of EA’s Monopoly Millionaires.

Have you tried Monopoly Millionaires on Facebook yet, and if so, what do you think of the game?