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Wednesday
Feb162011

Will New High-Tech Monopoly Game Pass Go?

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Don't count on stealing from the banker in this version of Monopoly.

In its latest update to the classic board game, Hasbro has added a computerized twist that makes paper money, dice -- and even cheating -- a thing of the past.

Monopoly Live, introduced by the company this week at the annual Toy Fair in New York, features a computerized tower in the center of the board that essentially manages the game.

The so-called "Tower of Power" contains an infrared camera that follows players' movements on the board and a speaker to deliver instructions. It also keeps track of players' money and makes sure that they stick to the rules.

"Kids are always telling that they really love playing board games and … video games. For us it was a great opportunity to bring the two worlds together," said Jane Ritson-Parsons, the global brand leader for Monopoly.

The new game, which will cost $50 when it goes on sale this fall, isn't intended to replace the old version, but to help the company engage an audience that's quickly moving to new platforms.

Monopoly lovers still enjoy the classic game that's been around for about 75 years, she said, but they're also opting for the higher-tech versions. The game exists on the iPhone and the iPad, and today Hasbro unveiled a version for Facebook.

"We're always looking to bring new ways to play to our audience because it is so broad," she said. "As you can imagine, the Monopoly audience is from 5 to 105."

The core audience for Monopoly board games are 8- to 12-year-olds, she said, but Monopoly Live is for kids and teenagers to play with each other and their families.

The basic premise of the game remains unchanged, but Ritson-Parsons said the new version "takes away the referee" -- no more rule books, no more banker, no more Community Chest or Chance cards stacked in the center of the game.

Instead, the Tower "hosts" the game. It knows if players haven't moved to the right spot on the board and it introduces unexpected opportunities.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio