Dot-com Monopoly: 'Pass Go, collect £200m'

In 1935, it was all about real estate, but in 2000 the Web rules. The latest version of Monopoly replaces Mayfair and Park Lane with Yahoo! and Excite@Home

It's a sign of the times when the favorite board-game phrase "Pass Go, collect £200"... means £200m! In keeping with the times, Hasbro officially launched the dot-com edition of Monopoly.

"We've released theme editions in the past, and this new one follows in the same spirit," said Mark Morris, director of public relations at Hasbro's games division. "If you know Monopoly, it's all the same -- just the [cash] amounts and properties are different."

Originally unveiled in 1935 with more than 200 million copies sold, there are about ten other editions available, including London, Manchester and Edinburgh versions. As with the dot-com edition, the boards are the same but the streets are different.

"Chance" and "Community Chest" have been replaced by "Download" and "E-mail Just In". "Go To Jail", "Free Parking", "In Jail", and "Go" remain staples of the game in the corners. You may not have to pay a luxury tax in the dot-com edition, but your ISP could cut off your connection.

Traditional pieces such as the ship and the car have been replaced by laptops and computer mice.

The dot-com version has been in stores over the last couple months but was officially released Thursday. The retail price in the US is $29.99.

Some of the dot-com properties include Yahoo!, Excite@Home, AT&T, AltaVista, CNET Networks (the parent company of ZDNet News), and Sun Microsystems. There are 30 companies on the board.

Hasbro officials would not disclose how it decided which companies to include, or whether or not the companies paid for particular placement.

Officials did say, however, that they contacted many of the major companies and negotiated with each company separately.

Noticeable in their absence from the game are Microsoft, Amazon.com, and America Online.

ZDNet UK Staff contributed to this report.

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