NEW YORK (BLOOMBERG) - As Hasbro passed GO, collected US$200, and lapped Mattel to become the No.1 toymaker in terms of sales, it also threw some gasoline on the smouldering embers of your game night grudges: it's now OK to cheat at Monopoly.
Monopoly Cheater's Edition will be released in the second half of this year with new rules and gameplay elements in which fans are encouraged to actively cheat as part of play, much to the delight of terrible people everywhere. This new special edition goes beyond simple themes like its Star Wars-branded sets to introduce an entire new style of play to one of the most popular board games of all time.
"As anyone who's participated in game night knows, the friendly competition can often get heated," Hasbro senior vice president Jonathan Berkowitz told Bloomberg. "This means players are looking to bend the rules in their pursuit of game-night glory."
In addition to the usual Community Chest and Chance cards, 15 different "Cheat Cards" will ask players to surreptitiously carry out sabotage and subterfuge missions throughout the game. If crafty enough to pull them off, successful players will get an infusion of cash or free properties. If caught, players will be forced to fork over money or even end up handcuffed in jail-literally attached to the board by a plastic handcuff.
Berkowitz contends that the cheating element enhances the original game, offering a "second layer to gameplay," which might ironically might appeal to the law-abiding Monopoly players among us.
Cheats on the "approved" list include stealing from the bank, skipping spaces, moving an opponent's token, skimping on rent, adding a hotel you didn't buy to your property, removing someone else's hotel from their property, moving another player's token when it's your turn, and collecting rent from someone else's property. Assuming none of that gives you an anxiety attack, this game is for you.
Other changes to the game: First to land on Pennsylvania Avenue gets it for free, and Atlantic Avenue can be snatched up for roughly half its original value.
If you're wondering how players are expected to get away with any of this, consider that the Cheater's Edition is the first of any Monopoly game not to require a designated banker. And if no one's minding the shop, well, human nature is a funny thing...
Hasbro came up with the idea for the special edition following an in-house study of about 2,000 people, which revealed that (shocker) half of players attempt to cheat during games. In January, Hasbro even introduced a "CheatBot" on Facebook Messenger to actively report offenders and dole out appropriate punishments.
Berkowitz says the point of the Cheater's Edition was to smooth out what is and what is not acceptable gameplay. "This new version is actually levelling the playing field so everyone operates under the same universal rules, with no special advantage for those sly cheaters."
Clearly this begs some deeper philosophical questions about modern life and the future of morality and humanity, but, wait, did you just land on Boardwalk? Yes, I definitely always had a hotel on there! Trust me.