May 16, 2007 — -- Playing Monopoly and other board games may be considered an American rite of passage for kids, but that tradition is in need of a makeover for youngsters who just don't have the time to finish a long game.
A game of Monopoly can take hours to complete when players get sent to jail while trying to purchase blocks of real estate, and game makers realize the game may be too involved for some families.
"Certainly, they're finding less and less time to have big chunks of time that they may have previously spent playing the board games," said Jill Hambley, Hasbro's marketing vice president.
Her company runs focus groups with parents and children and learned their schedules have become too packed to play a complex game.
"We're really, really busy," said 12-year- old Aaron Neiman.
"In the lower grades, you got time to play games but not anymore," chimed in his younger sister, Madeleine.
To meet these saturated schedules, Hasbro is launching new express versions of Monopoly, Scrabble and Sorry, designed to be played in 20 minutes or less.
"We're not asking parents 'stop everything you're doing and let's play a game.' We're saying we're going to fit games into the day that you already have scheduled," Hambley said.
Express Scrabble sets time limits for each turn and allows only two words on the board at once.
While Express Monopoly has a radical new approach, there's no cash or cards. The properties are listed on 12 dice, which players roll all at once as they try for points and a win.
Hasbro will keep making the traditional games, but for some people, whatever the length, the odds for victory may not improve.