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Monopoly GO: A Fresh Take on IP Licensing and Mobile Gaming Success

Ismael Jorge, BD Manager for Global Games at Yodo1

A new player has emerged in the mobile game industry, and it’s got everyone buzzing. Developed by Scopely in partnership with Hasbro, Monopoly GO!, based on Hasbro’s legendary original, boasts an impressive lineup of features that has, within a month of launching, propelled it to the top of the charts in terms of revenue and downloads. According to AppMagic, the game has already raked in over $10 million in revenue and soared past 20 million downloads. Let’s look into some of the key elements, from an IP-licensing standpoint, that helped Monopoly GO! achieve its meteoric rise.

Monopoly GO IP Licensing and Mobile Gaming Success

Via Scopely

What makes an IP-based game a hit?

Know your audience

Newzoo’s IP-based games report outlines several critical factors that can propel an IP-based game to success, and Monopoly GO! seems to check all the right boxes. The game’s developers have crafted a product that caters to a broad audience, from long-time fans of the classic board game to new players looking for a casual gaming experience.

The game’s market fit is undoubtedly one of its strongest suits. With over one billion Monopoly players worldwide and licensing agreements in more than 100 countries, Monopoly GO! has a built-in fan base that spans generations. On top of this, the casual/board games market niche caters to players of all ages, making it a perfect fit for the mobile gaming market. Combining laid-back gameplay mechanics with an iconic IP creates the perfect synergy for Monopoly GO!’s target audience.

Clever game design

Another critical factor in the game’s success lies in its game design. The developers have masterfully woven together traditional Monopoly elements with fresh, inventive mechanics, creating a game that captivates both long-time enthusiasts and new players.
Monopoly GO! also features mini-games outside the realm of the classic board game, providing an extra layer of excitement, as well as fast options for gamers on the go. The game’s smooth progression system allows players to unlock a treasure trove of over 100 new boards, ensuring there are always fresh experiences that keep players coming back for more. Most importantly, perhaps, the game manages to preserve the competitive essence of the original Monopoly while presenting it in a revitalized, dynamic form. Combining nostalgia and innovation is powerful.

Strategically planned launch

Business considerations also play a critical role in shaping a mobile game’s success story, and Monopoly GO! seems to have hit the nail on the head in this regard, too. Its launch is impeccably timed, capitalizing on the buzz generated by Scopely’s recent acquisition by Savvy. The alliance with Hasbro, combined with Scopely’s mobile gaming prowess, forms a potent recipe for success in marketing and distribution, with both sides of the partnership having a wide reach that they can take advantage of in promotions.

Smart monetization

While Monopoly GO! is free to play, the game’s in-game purchases strike a thoughtful balance, and even though some items may appear pricey for players unaccustomed to spending in-game, they’re designed to truly enhance the gaming experience. There is also a clear effort from the developers to prioritize player retention by bringing in enticing daily events and limited-time rewards, as well as offering both cooperative and competitive play modes.

With eight out of last year’s top ten most downloaded games (excluding hyper-casual games) being IP-based, Monopoly GO!’s careful consideration of market fit, game design, and business factors make it a strong contender for a spot among the top titles of 2023. Whether or not it will roll the dice and beat everyone to the finish line remains to be seen, but one thing is for sure—Monopoly GO! is definitely in the running.