Google has teamed up with one of the world’s biggest board game manufacturers to create an online version of Monopoly. The Internet search has joined forces with Hasbro to produce the game which will use Google Maps.
In Monopoly City Streets, which launches today, September 9, players will be able to buy any of the millions of streets around the world but will be able to build football stadiums and skyscrapers as well as the more traditional houses and hotels.
Chance cards will give players the ability to build prisons and rubbish dumps on their rivals’ streets. Starting with 3 million U.S. dollars, each player could in theory be competing with millions of other online players in what may become the biggest online game ever. The free to join game will see far more inflated prices than in the traditional game. London’s Downing Street may be bought for 231,000 dollars, while Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, where the White House stands, will cost 2 million dollars. Rent is paid automatically each day, from 50,000 dollars for a house to 100 million dollars for a skyscraper.
In a statement Hasbro said, ‘It’s a chance to escape the harsh reality of recession and enjoy building up an empire.’ The official website states that “on the 9th September, a world of property empire building on an unimaginable scale will be launched!” The goal is simple, the site says; “Play to beat your friends and the world to become the richest property magnate in existence.” The traditional board game is well known to last many hours before an outright winner is determined. Given the size of the project, the online version could last months, or even years. However the game will, according to the official blog only run until January 31, 2010.