Monopoly Mash-Up

Scrabulous. You remember that little tempest in a teapot? It seems like forever ago when a couple of young entrepreneurs from India created a Facebook version of the popular word game that ultimately grew into the most downloaded third-party app in Mr. Zuckerberg’s burgeoning empire.

In December 2007, this blogger took note of the fabulous Scrabulous with a cautionary note: beware of Hasbro, which held the domestic rights to the game. Sure enough, eight months later, a suits was filed and the game went poof in spite of valiant efforts to save it (as well as Hasbro’s reputation in defending its rightful ownership). and Mashable report that Hasbro’s other iconic board game will enter the interactive virtual realm in what clearly is the quintessential Google Map mash-up. Monopoly has teamed with Google to create Monopoly City Streets, which “allows users to compete in a live, worldwide version of the popular game, creating the biggest Monopoly tournament ever played.”

Hasbro naturally (or was it contractually?) took to Google’s Blogger to tease the initiative:

Friday, September 4, 2009
Shhhh… Your chance to WIN MONOPOLY fame coming soon!
This global game will feature an incredible amount of amazing new buildings and building types from MONOPOLY. From humble houses to stupendous skyscrapers and everything in between, never before will you have had the freedom to tailor your property empire exactly the way YOU want it.

Blogger, btw, celebrated its 10th birthday last week with a bash attended by a veritable valleyful of movers and shakers including Blogger’s founders, Ev and Biz. They shared their thoughts on the early days of their less geeky, but certainly more “democratic” blogging platform. Today’s they’re better know for an even more democratic platform for idea exchange. But I digress.

The Hasbro-Google effort likely won’t produce any lawsuits or corporate PR angst. It seems Hasbro smartly courted Google. (Could anyone be considered not smart by courting Google?) But Google benefits too. Apparently, the company will get to draw (excuse the pun) some attention to its 3D modeling app SketchUp, which is no stranger to working with other big consumer brands.

Anyway, I wish my old friend Wayne Charness and the Pawtucket gang much luck with City Streets. Sounds very cool.