Since launching in April, “MONOPOLY GO!” has captivated players around the globe with its endless charm, abundant opportunities to connect with friends, and a dose of spirited competition. In fact, the game has staked its claim as the #1 mobile game launch of 2023, and the #1 mobile board game launch….ever.
But did you know that it also pays tribute to iconic 80’s movies, a futuristic cartoon, and a world-renowned science fiction novel?
Hear from Howard Shin, Senior Art Director at Scopely, about how the team created an immersive MONOPOLY experience brimming with personal, unique touches incorporating different perspectives and inspirations.
When our team of gamemakers at Scopely set out to reimagine the MONOPOLY universe, we established our “why” early on - to create a timeless MONOPOLY game. Our vision for “MONOPOLY GO!” has always been to blend the “old” from MONOPOLY’s 85-year history with something that feels entirely modern and new.
To accomplish this, we built a truly global team spanning 100+ people across more than a half dozen countries, including the U.S., Spain, Israel, the U.K., and Ukraine, and empowered everyone to bring meaningful personal touches from their backgrounds and experiences into the rich world of “MONOPOLY GO!.”
As a direct result of our unique game making culture and creative freedom, “MONOPOLY GO!” is brimming with hidden treasures and nostalgia - from pop culture references to literature and everything in between. You may even find a few cameos from some of the passionate and innovative Scopeleans who brought the game to life!
Read on to learn more about some of the “Easter Eggs” and surprises that have helped to create a sense of wonder and exploration within “MONOPOLY GO!”
1) A disturbance in the “MONOPOLY GO!” space-time continuum
Many of our “MONOPOLY GO!” game-makers were raised on a healthy diet of classic 80’s films, and they pay tribute to a few of their favorites in the game’s rich and fantastical worlds.
The “mad scientist” or inventor was one of the most common archetypes in 80’s movies, from “Back to the Future” to “Honey, I Shrunk the Kids,” and many more. In “MONOPOLY GO!,” a citizen that pays tribute to this beloved character type can be found roaming the “Science Fair” board.
2) Does Mr. MONOPOLY wish he were BIG?
Speaking of 80’s movies - did you catch a “small” reference to one of the decade’s BIGGEST comedies?
In the movie “Big,” star Tom Hanks dances on an oversized synthesizer in what many consider to be among the most memorable and heartwarming film scenes ever. “MONOPOLY GO!” pays homage to this piece of cinema history with the “Big Time” collectible sticker, featuring Mr. MONOPOLY strutting his stuff atop a piano.
3) Meet the Jetsons in “MONOPOLY GO!”
In the 1960’s, the space-age cartoon “The Jetsons” offered viewers a fantastical glimpse into the future complete with flying cars, robot assistants, moving sidewalks, and more.
The “MONOPOLY GO!” board “Moon” is an ode to the futuristic world of George, Jane, Judy and Elroy, with a look and feel inspired by one of television’s most revered toons.
4) Diving deep into the “MONOPOLY GO!” universe
The “Submarine” board allows players to build their empires in the depths of the ocean. This creative backdrop also has “deep” literary roots, as it was inspired by Jules Verne’s classic science fiction novel “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.”
5) The origins of "Cash Grab"
“Cash Grab,” a fan-favorite minigame within “MONOPOLY GO!” where players are challenged to grab floating MONOPOLY money as quickly as possible to reap big rewards, is actually based on a real-life “off board” MONOPOLY game where players blast cash and Chance cards into the air in a quest to increase their fortunes!
6) Don’t feed the birds!
In “MONOPOLY GO!” lore, Mr. MONOPOLY cannot find a moment’s peace whenever birds are in his presence.
This running gag, developed by our creative Scopelean game-makers, is reflected across “MONOPOLY GO!’s” vast collection of stickers. Mr. MONOPOLY’s skirmishes with birds date back to prehistoric times; in the modern era, these avian issues are exacerbated anytime Mr. MONOPOLY is trying to eat!
7) Inventing Lizzie Bell
The “MONOPOLY GO!” universe is filled with friendly characters who infuse the game with charm and personality.
The inventor character is named Lizzie Bell and her name pays homage to two notable inventors - Lizzie Magie, who designed the game that inspired MONOPOLY, and Alexander Graham Bell, the inventor of the telephone.
8) Living on the ledge
Board number 56, “Garden Gala,” depicts a quaint tea party scene in a lush, verdant garden.
But all is not as peaceful as it seems! If you look closely, you’ll find a “citizen” hanging off the ledge of the fountain, adding an unexpected moment of playfulness and surprise to an otherwise serene landscape.
9) Spot the Scopeleans
“MONOPOLY GO!” was developed by a talented team of Scopelean game-makers spanning more than a half dozen countries. In fact, several of those Scopeleans make cameos in the “MONOPOLY GO!” universe.
Massimo Maietti is the visionary General Manager of “MONOPOLY GO!” who oversees all aspects of the game’s development and evolution. Massimo is also the namesake for “Massimo’s Restaurant,” a delightful and lively pizzeria found in the game’s 49th board (Massimo’s).
Apel Keshishian is a skilled Senior Technical Artist who loves farming games. In his honor, we named our quaint Apple Orchard Board “Apel’s Orchard.”
“MONOPOLY GO’s!” lead engineer, Dan Wilkins, helped inspire the “Bavarian Village” board.
Dan’s wife is from Bavaria, and the reference images used to create the “Bavarian Village” came from Dan’s extensive travels through the region!
10) A Sevillan surprise!
The team who created “MONOPOLY GO!” spans multiple geographies and timezones, including Spain - specifically the city of Sevilla, where our Scopely Studio Genjoy is located.
As a tribute to our exceptional game-makers from Genjoy, the studio’s logo - a distinctive letter “G” - can be found in-game within the beautiful “Sevilla” board. Can you spot it?
These are just a few of the fun, creative touches found in “MONOPOLY GO!” Have you noticed any others?