The official update

by MonopolyHQ on September 22, 2009 · 24 comments

Here’s the official update from the development team:

As promised, we have been working to combat foul play in the game and have begun correcting anomalies which have been used by a few to inflate their MONOPOLY City Streets coffers.

Last week, in the interest of adding more excitement to game play, we increased the value of many of the streets when we relaunched the game. However, as a result, rental income on the most expensive streets grew exponentially. During the past 24 hours, we have adjusted the rental income multiplier to correct overinflated rents which some have exploited in their quest to become a real estate mogul.

We did not take away any income from the past several days, but you will notice that starting at the most recent payday, you did receive reduced rents on your buildings. Over the course of several days, this adjustment will once again level the playing field among all players.

The incentive to buy bigger – and more expensive – streets remains overall, as those streets have more potential for development (and thus more rent) over the course of the game. So, you may have to adjust your buying and building strategy and begin negotiating with other players to get to the higher levels of the game.

We apologize for not posting the update about rent before the change was made to the game. But, we are confident that this change will be in the best interest of all players.

Next up in the quest to combat cheaters: deletion of accounts.

What are your thoughts?  What’s your strategy going forward?


{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Brian September 22, 2009 at 4:30 pm

I still don’t understand their philsophy of “fixing it going forward.” For cheating, they have previous made the comment “knock if off or we will delete your account.” Now I am not concerned about the idiots with $1 Quadrillion dollars. However they are essentially saying that if you cheated and got a couple million off of us, please stop.

And now they know the screwed up the formula, they know that small percentage of people were able to gain a exponential amount of wealth. And while it is great that they fixed it going forward, it doesn’t help those of us were not able to realize those gains. I guess if you didn’t cheat and didn’t land one of the rare big time streets, then you are so far behind it doesn’t matter.


2 Brian September 22, 2009 at 8:33 pm

20 freaking Green Houses later and I finally get a Chance card . . . 1.3 Million PENALTY!!! WTF


3 pow October 20, 2009 at 4:17 am

mon record : -245M …


4 John September 22, 2009 at 4:39 pm

Since a lot of people lot millions or 10′s of millions in rent, it would be nice for the developers to make up for this a little. Maybe a rent double day or generous chance cards for 7 days with bonus rent money would let people know the developers actually care and are not out just to make a buck of the board edition. I think the game will still be fun though if everyone can keep from getting so mad. It’s just a game people!


5 MonopolyHQ September 22, 2009 at 10:53 pm

totally agree – this game is going to have a big asterix next to it forever… but yes it is just a game. i understand the anger, but gotta make the most of it.. even if it feels like injustice.

consider yourselves ‘beta’ users…


6 Anonymous September 22, 2009 at 5:48 pm

MY thoughts and strategy? I called HASBRO and canceled all my order with them, and told them I would not be buying any more HASBRO products int he future because of this example of the quality of their products. There is no excuse in such failures to communicate with the players and implementing mid-game rules changes without informing anyone that it was not a glitch, or immediately taking care to inform people of a rules change or glitch. It is lazy game design and lazy administration of an online game. I won’t log back in again until after the reset to make the game fair again since cheaters and abusers of the system have already ruined the game for many by placing hazards so that they must be removed with the cheater accounts and back pay given to the players affected by cheaters. Which means either a rollback, or reset is the only fix, after banning the cheaters and placing a system in place to detect and remove them quicker.


7 W.Tucker September 22, 2009 at 5:56 pm

@Brian I completely agree. Day 1 for me went well, I nailed a property worth about 2.8 million. Day 2 was even better, built a ton of houses. Day 3 could have been good but I became sabotaged by 3 different accounts – they put 6 hazards on my property! PUCOR, DUCOR and MUCOR. I finally recovered from the blatant trifecta of cheating account’s hazards LAST TURN and what do I get? not the 11 or 15 million I should have earned but rather 2.3 million. Now the asshole with 3 login names is likely riding high, and I will never be able to catch up to him or even legitimate non cheater players. Between the cheater’s barrage of hazards and the new rent policy I’m in a sour mood about the future of this game… Yes it’s free and supposed to be light hearted fun, but it isn’t when it’s run poorly…


8 Sam September 22, 2009 at 8:57 pm

So all the clamor caused by the poor-management of this game has got me wondering. There’s not really THAT many facets to the game play, and they’re using two publicly available APIs to build the game board. How long do you suppose it will be before we see a community-run “Conglomerate Town Roads” game?


9 c September 22, 2009 at 9:24 pm

I’m not sure…. no doubt there’s easy access to the programming side of this game, but the limitation may be the infrastructure needed to serve a game of this scale. It’s doubtful “Conglomerate Town Roads” could ever be as popular as “Monopoly City Streets” due to the brand recognition, but you’d still need a tremendous amount of resources to serve those who’d want to try it out.


10 c September 22, 2009 at 9:14 pm

I am one of those playiing with multiple accounts, but I try to do it with integrity… always pay minimum value in *very* infrequent transactions between accounts. I am never a first attacker and generally keep to myself in order to push up my ROI. if I am attacked, i may ignore the attack as I recover, or retaliate in kind (but never exceeding the “eye for an eye” maxim).

I am on the leaderboards of a few of the areas I play in and strive to keep each account’s holdings in their respective geographical region.

I thought the increased rents made the game incredibly fun! I had a great time tracking down those longer streets and highways, looking for that “secret” buy point…. and I was lucky enough to snag a couple up, even though I know there are better ones to be had.

I can’t stress enough that I COULD HAVE DONE THIS WITHOUT MULTIPLE ACCOUNTS… the only real benefit I have gained from them is the ability to extend my play each day. In general, I plan to keep 5 streets per account until I can get a handle on the tax math and see how more properties could be advantageous.

I do think it gives those who were cheating an unfair advantage to decrease the rents at this point in the game. And I’ll say it, too; The un-professionalism with which these updates to the game have been handled is just mind boggling. And I just can’t understand the rationale behind the building prices and their ROI.

I can understand the secrecy of the development team, though… these are BUSINESS decisions, and less transparency benefits them. After the rent change, I could just see them sitting around a huge oak table in their daily mandatory meeting about how to go about deleting cheater’s accounts – wracking their brains as the negative feedback poured into the blog.

I just hope someone is archiving the responses from game fans for posterity. In the grand scheme of things, I can’t see what’s going on here as earth-shattering… but a game like this will have a place in history. It would be nice to have an accurate account of its evolution.


11 MonopolyHQ September 22, 2009 at 10:54 pm

thanks for sharing, and your big picture view of the evolution of the game. you’re right, i’m just happy to be a part of it all as well!


12 WNC Monopoly September 22, 2009 at 9:26 pm

I love Monopoly and I love maps. This game managed to bring the two together, and I have immensely enjoyed playing this game despite it’s flaws.

The development team (as well as the people who manage them) have some very serious issues, and it has been obvious from the start. I can give them a few false starts, but my first clue these guys didn’t have a clue what they were doing when they instituted the tax system along with a rent payment system that completely negated what the tax was for…even if I don’t agree with the tax. If I can’t ever own more than 20 streets without losing money, why am I playing this game? Certainly not to create a Real Estate Empire, or be a Real Estate Mogul.

Anyone with a Junior High education should have saw the exponential growth of income that resulted from the rent multiplier…and them stealing (Yes, I said stealing) a day’s rent to fix a problem THEY CREATED without telling us in advance. My strategy for yesterday’s turn would have been totally different had I known in advance what they were planning.

I would like to suggest that the people in charge of developing the fundamentals of this game should pick up a book on Game Theory and Mechanism Design. The game is still broken and I wonder if anyone involved with this project ever graduated high school.

The game is still salvageable but, at this point, I have little confidence anyone at Tribal DDB or Hasbro can fix it.

I am certain that there are people out there who see the same things I do, and they are hard at work developing better games that use the data from the Open Street Map.


13 MonopolyHQ September 22, 2009 at 10:56 pm

If they really listened to the fans, while there’s been some contradicting feedback, overall I think they could make a really killer game out of this. I’m sure there’s a technical aspect to work out, but i’m sure if a few people just sat down for a few days thinking through the truly best qualities of what made monopoly great, they’d have gold on their hands.


14 Annie September 22, 2009 at 9:46 pm

oh my god, did anyone see the rent thing – green houses and cottages are no longer 100%, down to 67%, though that still is higher than any of the other buildings. Basically they stripped all the buildings of their value even further!


15 MonopolyHQ September 22, 2009 at 10:56 pm

are you serious? i’m afraid to log in and look now.


16 Annie September 23, 2009 at 7:56 am

this is really weird, e.g. the greenhouse pays only 41k rent, the cottages pay 62k, but my friend who’s also a level 2 still has 100%!!! I don’t understand……….. is this another bug or what…..


17 c September 23, 2009 at 8:34 am

i’m quite certain that you are looking at a street that you paid less than $1M for… above that and rents are maxed. this is exactly how it was before the reset…except that now longer street prices are drastically increased.


18 Annie September 23, 2009 at 8:47 am

oh wow I see dohhh! How stupid of me, thanks! :)

19 MindObserver September 22, 2009 at 10:12 pm

I wonder if they realize that growth is still exponential with the reverted rent system. Before the rollback, my $10M street was going to give me a 10X return on investment overnight. Now that street will still give me a 2X return overnight. So it will take a little over three days to get the same 10X payback. But I will still get that payback eventually.

So instead of all the strategic players hitting $1B in four days, we’ll hit it in twelve days. What are they going to do then?

If they put some thought into this game, they would have some mechanism to pull back on the super wealthy (something more than the tax that is easily avoided by sticking to five streets). And there would be another mechanism to help the newest/poorest players catch up a little to the wealthier masses.


20 MonopolyHQ September 22, 2009 at 10:59 pm

excellent points – they didn’t map this out properly. I know the scale is unlike anything before, but it could have all been planned so much better. And yeah, i’d love to introduce friends to the game, but I know they’d be too frustrated to begin investing in it at this point. In some ways I kinda wish this was more tournament style on a smaller scale, and people could graduate or luck out and play at a bigger field. That would help slow the pace of the game down and sniff out cheaters better at a local level… ah well…


21 simon September 23, 2009 at 11:56 am

i see two options for this game

1/ Everyone gets richer but the rich get richer quicker…
a game of hyper inflation similar to what we have now… more money is gained every day by each player and very little/no money is ever “lost” by players. The rent gained from a property must at some point exceed the cost of the building otherwise there is no incentive to buy the building… from this point on money is being introduced into the economy. thus a new player starting with 3m (or a poor player) has very little chance of ever catching up (*Not just* for the 1m bonus rent every day since you registered and logged on).

2/ Some people get poorer while others get richer
a game where players are at some point eliminated/knocked out. A system where there is a finite amount of money in the game (where the positive chance cards balance the negative chance cards). This means all money that is spent or earnt in the game comes from other players (including rent). The only way new money comes into the economy is through new players (i.e every time a player gains money another player loses an equal amount of money). This will almost certainly lead to players being knocked out (like the board game) and would require far more planning (from the programmers) than the simple game we have currently. A new player in this type of game would always have the average (mean) amount of money of all the players.

both types of game of their advantages and disadvantages and either way people will complain


22 MonopolyHQ September 23, 2009 at 4:23 pm

new players starting with mean amount of cash – that’s actually a really fascinating option to introduce – great idea I’d love to see them implement.


23 simon September 23, 2009 at 4:25 pm

if everyone started with 3m and all the money in the economy was taken from and given to other players then 3m WOULD be the mean amount of cash…


24 pow October 20, 2009 at 4:20 am

j’ai des rues totalement HS (4 rues sur 12), autant a l’achat qu’a la vente, je ne peux plus rien faire dessus et ca commence a saouler.


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