An Open Letter from Hasbro

by MonopolyHQ on October 15, 2009 · 4 comments

Finally an official update. This is a straight copy and paste, I wanted to leave open for the discussion with the community here.

AN OPEN LETTER FROM HASBRO
First, we want to thank everyone for their open and honest feedback on MONOPOLY City Streets. It has certainly been an eventful few weeks

We want you to know that we have been listening to your input from the very first day MONOPOLY City Streets launched. We may not always have an answer and we’ve made some missteps along the way. Regardless, we want to take this opportunity to set the record straight about the purpose of the game and the game play itself.

First, some background.

When we undertook this project, many months back, our objective was to design and deliver a free game that would be a fun, interactive, promotional introduction to our new board game, MONOPOLY City. We wanted to bring to life some of the new elements of game play that we’d introduced in the MONOPOLY City board game, like 3-D construction, hazards, and bonus buildings.

This concept, which came to life by working with Google Maps, has been a runaway success. We were surprised and thrilled at the sheer number of people who were excited about playing the world’s favourite game on a global scale. We vastly underestimated our initial hosting needs, which meant many people experienced a very slow or non-existent start to the game. In response, we increased our hardware investment and the game pace picked up.

As many of you now understand, the initial design wasn’t meant to be a massive multiplayer online game; it was meant to be a fun free game to spark interest in the MONOPOLY City board game. There is no end result or ultimate prize when you play MONOPOLY City Streets online. The only goal is having fun while you play. As the online game has picked up momentum, our development team have been working, often around the clock, to improve play, fix bugs, and combat cheating with the ultimate aim of creating a competitive, fair environment so all who come can experience and enjoy MONOPOLY City-type game play.

Because our game is designed for the broad MONOPOLY family audience, we can’t and don’t collect e-mail addresses, and this left us more vulnerable to cheater attack. In addition, the devotion of serious players led a lot of people to spend a lot of time setting up multiple accounts, creating alliances and building BOTS. For this, we simply weren’t prepared.

Because these issues affected game play, we clarified the rules, posted new rules on the blog, and explained our position on multiple accounts — and have since been going through a process of deleting multiple accounts. We are being thorough, doing our best not to delete genuine players, and we expect to continue to delete problem accounts through the rest of the game. We are following up on e-mails and blog posts that tell us about cheaters, but we have not been as quick as we would have liked in telling players what we’ve been doing about their complaints.

We appreciate the enthusiasm this community has shown for our game. In fact, we love it. We know a lot of people are convinced that this is a beta for a bigger game, but (honest!) we never intended the online game to last beyond its intended promotional period this Fall. That’s why we didn’t plan for the kind of development dialogue that players expect of an MMOG and, in fact, we didn’t originally plan to have a blog. It’s taken us a while to gather the resources needed to engage the community. We’ll continue to listen to suggestions but we have no plans to further change game rules during the promotion period. Because of the overwhelming enthusiasm and popularity of the game, we’re reviewing our options for the future, but no decision has been made..

We have updated the Frequently Asked Questions with responses to many of the questions that we continue to see on the blog and that we have received through e-mail.

We will continue to develop MONOPOLY City Streets and keep improving game play over coming weeks. We hope that people appreciate the MONOPOLY City Streets online game for what it is, and what it was always meant to be, a fun free experience taster of the MONOPOLY City board game.

What are you thoughts?

4 comments

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Brian W. October 15, 2009 at 4:11 pm

*yawn*

Another communication from them that doesn’t actually say much. I understand that they never thought this game would explode into what it is – But it did. So there are two things they could have done:

1) Realized that even with all the problems, they have an immensely popular game that has attracted hundreds of thousnds or more people on a daily basis. Do they not realize that companies would pay millions for the page views they are getting? Hell, toss in a few banner ads, make some money and improve the thing.

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OR

2) Do nothing.

And they went with #2. Brilliant. I must have missed that chapter in my MBA classes on turning away consumers that are begging for your product.

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2 Bella October 15, 2009 at 8:20 pm

Yeah sorry but if they underestimated the sheer number of people that would be interested then they really need to fire their marketing consultants. I’m not a marketing guru or a web developer but even I knew it would take off like a runaway train and be massive. There is no way people with expertise in the field should have underestimated that. Not in this day and age with viral marketing and social networking.

And frankly, with its current popularity if they are NOT seriously considering a pay to play edition of the game then they are really missing an opportunity for some massive cash inflow. Many people would pay to play as it stands now, so with some development they could have a $$ winning MMOG on their hands.

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3 Lo October 15, 2009 at 10:16 pm

I most certainly agree with the above comments, but I believe the intention of this post was to quell the angry mob that has gathered at the front steps of MCS. Unfortunately, the writers didn’t realize this task is impossible.

Rome was not built in a day. I’m willing to stick it out and I appreciate this update.

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4 MonopolyHQ October 17, 2009 at 5:33 pm

Can’t agree more with all of you… I’m thankful for just about any bit of communication at the moment, but this can be so much more. It’s crazy for them not to be able to see this at this point.

Lo – I’ll be sticking out as well – i trust they’ll make some good decisions going forward.

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