DO NOT PASS GO

Monopoly updates game for millennials by dropping thimble, concept of property ownership

According to Hasbro’s own market research, only 28% of younger players could identify the purpose of a thimble outside the context of the game.
(Shutterstock / CaseyMartin)

ATLANTIC CITY, NJ—In a bid to appeal to millennials, Hasbro recently announced several changes to the iconic board game Monopoly, including replacing the thimble game piece and dropping the concept of property ownership from the gameplay.

"We've found that players aged 30 and under no longer identify with certain elements of the game," explained Michael Borowitz, Hasbro Games' Vice President of Marketing.

"Especially with concepts more relevant to earlier eras, like the 1930s-era thimble token or the possibility of upward social mobility."

According to Hasbro's own market research, only 28% of younger players could identify the purpose of a thimble outside the context of the game and just 15% could understand the concept of ever affording their own home. These findings helped shaped the updates for Monopoly's new Millennial Edition, which include raising the minimum rent charge to $1,500 and having each player start the game with $20,000 of student debt.

"I think younger players will appreciate the changes," says Borowitz. "Now, instead of buying properties and accumulating wealth, players will just go around the board and pay rent."

"That's it. Just paying rent and bills," he added. "Until they die."

"Oh! And the thimble is now a smartphone," he concluded.

Jail is the only space on the board where you don't lose money, so it's actually a pretty good deal.- Michael Borowitz, Hasbro Games' Vice President of Marketing

Other adjustments to the game include modifying the Chance and Community Chest cards to better reflect current realities. For example, instead of earning $10 from a beauty contest, players can now earn $50 of pity money from their grandparents or $0 from a plum internship opportunity. Monopoly's famous "Get Out Of Jail Free" card has also been replaced.

"It's now a 'Get Into Jail Free' card," explained Borowitz. "Jail is the only space on the board where you don't lose money, so it's actually a pretty good deal."

Hasbro has also adapted strategies to better serve the updated gameplay. While Monopoly players have traditionally aimed to win by bankrupting their opponents, the Millennial Edition end game is for players to band together and destroy bourgeois systems of oppression in glorious revolution.

"Now instead of just one player winning, the entire proletariat wins – which is nice," observed Borowitz.

Hasbro has also announced a separate companion edition for over-50 players for release later in the year. While specific changes have not been revealed, Baby Boomer Monopoly is expected to include such features as "starter homes" and "being able to pay for university on minimum wage".

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About the Author

Ned Petrie

Ned Petrie is a Toronto-based writer, actor, and 6-time Canadian Comedy Award nominee. He currently appears on the TV series Blind Sighted (AMI) and Gary & His Demons (Blue Ant Media). Previously, Ned was a writer for Night Sweats (Teletoon) and created the game show pilot The Panel Show for CBC Radio.