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Your mom's new favorite game, Monopoly GO, is more expensive and more successful than you think

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The mobile game Monopoly GO was released on April 11, 2023 for Android and iOS. Since then it has been a success story. In just 3 months, it earned $1 billion in revenue, the developers proudly announce.

What makes the game so successful?

  • As the development team Scopely announced in an interview (via gamefile), Monopoly GO is the casual mobile game that has reached the $1 billion barrier in sales the fastest. The mark was reached in 7 months – Pokémon GO also achieved this in 2016, but that doesn't count as a “casual” game. This made Monopoly GO the most successful new mobile game in 2023.
  • Just 10 months after launch and just 3 months after breaking the $1 billion mark, the game reached the $2 billion sales milestone.
  • Perhaps even more astonishing: Monopoly Go cost the company $500 million in marketing and acquiring new users, as much as PlayStation blockbusters like Marvel's Spider-Man 2 usually cost.

Mobile games often use board games: “Game of Life” has also been implemented as a mobile game:

The Game of Life 2 is now available for PS4 and PS5 – crossplay with PC, mobile and Switch

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That's what the developers say: The CEO of Scopely raves about the game's success. They worked on Monopoly GO for 7 years. Now the success curve is “nothing other than extraordinary”. This is thanks to its talented team and passionate players.

8 million players would log into Monopoly GO every day. The “deep commitment” shows how talented the gaming developers are and how they manage to inspire players every day.

The key to the success of Monopoly GO is that they had previously developed another game in the style of Monopoly, for which they needed more skill. But then Scopely decided that this “midcore” experience excluded too many players and created Monopoly GO.

Criticism: “A prime example of predatory capitalism”

What do critics say? When Monopoly GO was released on May 1st, a pretty harsh reckoning with the game appeared on “Destructoid”. There it says:

Everything you know about Monopoly is here, but the rules have changed enough to make Monopoly GO an even more unforgiving version of the building-buying game.

Monopoly has always been about capitalism and driving others to ruin. In Monopoly Go you are encouraged to invite friends as soon as you log in.

The author of Destructoid then explains that there are always opportunities to rob friends in the game. Many of those he robbed have now stopped playing Monopoly GO.

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An article at Androidcentral also calls Monopoly GO a perfect example of “cutthroat capitalism” in mobile gaming when it comes to monetization:

  • There is hardly any gameplay in the game, but there is a “heavily monetized daily energy system” and players are bombarded with pop-up advertising.
  • However, Monopoly GO is also well designed and has a “fast, satisfying gameplay loop.”

On Google Play, Monopoly GO has a rating of 4.7/5 stars with more than 1.8 million reviews.

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This is what lies behind it: Games like Monopoly GO show why “gaming” statistics are always so strange:

  • Because according to statistics, 46% of gamers worldwide are now female (via playtoday)
  • but only 6% identify as gamers
  • The idea that gaming is primarily a male hobby is due, among other things, to the fact that women are statistically more likely to play casual games such as “Match-3” (Candy Crush) or farming simulators – games that are popular with “core gamers”. be judged rather disparagingly

Mobile gaming doesn't necessarily have to be “casual”, there are now also some games on iOS and Android for core gamers, although they are also often criticized for their excessive monetization.

The 10 best mobile MMORPGs 2024 for iOS and Android

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