With today's trending news that a Final Fantasy VII Monopoly spin-off is available in stores I've reached my breaking point. Monopoly is destroying the amazing Renaissance that Tabletop gaming has experienced these past couple years. While that can be seen as a bit of a controversial opinion to hold amongst some in the industry, I wholeheartedly believe it to be true. I've talked to quite a few people (who play or make board games) about my views and of the detractors I hear the whole "but Monopoly brings people into the world of board games," song and dance time and time again...
That's exactly what the problem is. I'm about to break down every reason Monopoly is actually the worst introduction any person could have into board gaming and how it's survival will inevitably kill the growing interest in tabletop gaming.
Monopoly Isn't Fun It's Easy To Learn And Tedious...
How many times have you approached a friend who played Monopoly as a kid but "isn't into board games". Exactly. Two years ago I was this guy. I had just moved to Indianapolis and reconnected with my high school buddy who was "really into board games". It wasn't just him, Indianapolis (home to the worlds second largest tabletop convention, Gen Con) is a "Mecca" of board gaming. We have tons of game shops, local game nights every day of the week, leagues, and well-known board gaming developers living a stones throw away from the city itself.
I didn't know any of that. All I knew was Monopoly was a game I played when I went on vacation and didn't have cable or video games at hand. It was as fun as having nothing better to do, and that's kind of the point. Monopoly is not a "fun" game and I don't believe it was designed to be. Rather, Monopoly is an easy to learn game that eats up a lot of time. You roll your dice, you spend your money and you wait. After 4-6 hours you have a winner or everyone gives up.
That is a horrible way to introduce someone to the world of tabletop gaming. A bulk of these new games coming out don't last beyond an hour these days and a vast majority go closer to 30 minutes. If you're someone who has no idea about the current state of tabletop gaming I equate the current state of gaming (in terms of fun, at least) to Battleship.
If you think of most tabletop games today as Battleship you'd be much more willing to play them. Battleship was inventive, had cool figures, strategy, and tense moments. More importantly, it was easy to learn, quick to play, and fun. Yet we don't see people playing Battleship anymore and about 100 special editions of Monopoly each year...literally a hundred.
You have Elvis-opoly, 007opoly, Shrekopoly, Gay Monopoly, Yankee Candleopoly, XXXopoly, Ducksopoly, and Clintonopoly. Those are all real by the way. Literally, every single one of those exists.
This has to be done to force people into thinking they need a reason to buy Monopoly and hide the fact that it is an awful game. What's even worse is that it allows for a super old game to keep a $50 price point. That's something not even the hottest board games of last year can get away with doing in the tabletop market.
I assume if you're reading this I'm already preaching to the choir or you truly did not know that tabletop gaming is evolved past the awful, mind-numbing, exercise in futility that is Monopoly. I promise you it's not like that anymore and that board games are like the Battleship you know and love. Find a friend who won't make you play Catan and have them show you this brave new world first hand.
Oh and I guess if you don't have friends check out Onitama, Camel Up, Colt Express, Star Realms, Star Trek: Five Year Mission or any of the 1000 games that have come out since then! They're all cheap, fun and waiting for a fresh audience to enjoy them!