Hasbro is facing outrage following the release of a Monopoly edition geared to millennials.
The edition is packed with references to the younger generation’s lifestyle, struggles and preferences—but many millennials aren’t laughing at the jokes.
On the cover of new edition, Rich Uncle Pennybags dons earphones, sunglasses, and a “participation” medal while taking a selfie. Below, the game’s tagline reads: “Forget real estate. You can’t afford it anyway.”“Money doesn’t always buy a great time, but experiences, whether they’re good — or weird — last forever,” reads the game’s description. So rather than collect cash and real estate, as in traditional versions, players collect experiences such as dining at a vegan bistro or doing a meditation retreat—or simply staying in their parents’ basement.
The game’s rules and cover art all play up stereotypes the age group is known for.The box for the game shows Mr. Monopoly taking a selfie, wearing headphones and a participation medal and holding a coffee. The taglines read: “Forget real estate, you can’t afford it anyway,” and “Adulting is hard. You deserve a break from the rat race!” Rather than win by collecting the most money, the game prompts players to collect experiences—including visiting a friend’s couch, going to a vegan bistro, and hitting a week-long meditation retreat. Game pieces include a hashtag and crying emoji.
Hasbro is selling the game for $19.82, which references the first year of the millennial generation. Though Hasbro doesn’t offer the edition on its own website, Walmart’s stock is currently sold out online.
What?! @Hasbro‘s #Millennial Monopoly says “forget real estate, you cant afford it anyway.” Hopefully they’ll be donating the proceeds to student debt relief. (which is why millennials can’t afford real estate) https://t.co/Xw1Vmo9tNE
— Emily Roehler (@EmilyRoehler) November 12, 2018
Millennial Monopoly? As a GenXer, I’m embarrassed. This happens when marketers from older gens don’t listen to their younger cohorts and customers. #Millennials #genx #Monopoly #marketing https://t.co/MKw2tjxEjt
— Dillon Kalkhurst (@On_MissionTV) November 13, 2018
Next, Monopoly for Baby Boomers: where you buy property for below value price, only people of color go to jail, and when you pass “Go” you get to complain about Millennials!!! pic.twitter.com/Nb8vSl79AW
— Jon (@jknit135) November 12, 2018
@Hasbro Can you provide the URL for the Hasbro-official website featuring “Monopoly for Millennials,” where you trash on my age demographic because baby boomers caused an economic catastrophe that rendered us financially impotent for a decade? Thanks! pic.twitter.com/wmm0WQwnld
— Steven Briggs (@TrnDaBeatAround) November 11, 2018
Some said the game’s stereotypes poked fun at real problems facing the millennial generation.
Many of us are probably a little irked by Hasbro’s new version of the game because it plays one some pretty tired stereotypes of our generation. In reality, the family wealth of millennials is 34 percent lower than earlier generations and is projected to get worse, according to Bloomberg. While Baby Boomers experienced decades of healthy financial markets that allowed them to pay off mortgages and debts, says Bloomberg, millennials lived through a recession weighed down by student loan debt and low wages, the effects of which are still being felt nearly 10 years later. That means millennials have been forced to “forget” paying rent or buying real estate because they’re barely getting paid a livable wage, and many are drowning in student loan debt. And those super hot experiences they’re supposed to collect throughout the game? They can’t actually afford those IRL, no matter what Instagram says. That’s why millennials have learned to appreciate the little things in life. You know, like avocado toast.
Despite criticism, Hasbro doubled down on its offering.
In a statement, Hasbro defended its decision to make the game and even said some its staff are millennials: We created Monopoly for Millennials to provide fans with a lighthearted game that allows Millennials to take a break from real life and laugh at the relatable experiences and labels that can sometimes be placed on them … Whether you are a lifestyle vlogger, emoji lover or you make your ‘side hustle’ selling vegan candles, Monopoly for Millennials is for you!