Exploring the Tech Deployed to Make London a Monopoly Haven for Board Game Fans

May 7, 2024

Monopoly, as we know it today, was first published in the US in 1935 by the Parker Brothers, being licensed for sale beyond the States in 1936. It was then that John Waddington Ltd adapted the board game for the UK. The managing director, Victor Watson, was tasked with picking the properties for this British Monopoly.

Watson opted to base the game around London, selecting locations like Mayfair, Old Kent Road, Pall Mall, Leicester Square, and Oxford Street. While this British variant is still very much in circulation, and the source of much household infighting, far more advanced forms of the classic board game are powering a new age of Monopoly in and around the capital.

Infusing tech to make Monopoly even bigger

A standard Monopoly board measures 20 inches by 20 inches, featuring nine stops down each edge as well as four corner positions. As far back as 2005, businesses were working to make Monopoly even bigger. To promote a new edition of the game, as detailed in this report, GPS technology was utilised by Tribal DDB to have an online real-time version of London Monopoly in play. On this occasion, 18 taxis with GPS tech were used as playing pieces.

Now, there’s a not quite as big, but still not small, way to enjoy Monopoly in London. Down on Tottenham Court Road in the West End, Monopoly Lifesized takes place on a mighty 15 metre by 15 metre board. However, it’s much more than a mere human-sized board game. Tappable was brought in to infuse live-play technology to power up the experience.

Anyone who goes to the 2022 Licensing International Award Winner for some 4D Monopoly will tap into a local network that gets each of the mini-games going, runs auctions, offers real-time leaderboards across the venue, and aligns everyone’s tablets – from players to actors and staff. It’s this tech that has enabled the venue to become so immersive and like a regular board game where everyone knows who’s ahead at any one time.

Monopoly embracing tech wherever it can

Being a wildly popular board game for the better part of a century, it would be bizarre if Monopoly didn’t have a video game version – which it does and has done since the earlier days of computer gaming. Still, where Monopoly separates itself as a major brand is through its embrace of other technologies to diversify what it means to play Monopoly.

The game’s greatest and most successful pivot showcased to date might just be in the form of casino gaming. As this article shows, there’s now a dedicated Monopoly Casino. Signing up gets 30 no-wagering bonus spins on Monopoly Paradise Mansion, which is one of their many themed slots. Accompanying the Monopoly slots are the Monopoly scratchcard and live casino games.

Monopoly Big Baller remains one of the top live games going by offering real-time play from a lotto game being live-streamed from a studio somewhere in the world. Similarly, Monopoly Go has joined the proven AR mobile game space, utilizing player locations to let them go around and compete with others in real-time. In less than a year, the mobile app amassed over $135 million in revenue.

Classic Monopoly has been found to be the fourth most popular board game in the UK, per internet search volume, but the tech being infused into the game in so many different ways has enabled players to experience it in far more ways than its contemporaries.