Perhaps massively multiplayer city-building/tycoonery is going to become the next big sub-genre - the natural future of all those management games that quietly earn a lot of money from non-traditional gamers. We've got Cities XL incoming in a few weeks, for better or worse, and now toymakers Hasbro are taking a crack at something very vaguely similar with Monopoly City Streets. Clever bit: it's based around Google Maps, it's designed to be one giant game that runs until the end of Janaury 2010, and in theory every single street in the world can be purchased. It's the World's Biggest Game Of Monopoly, apparently. Hah. It's not as big as the game of Monopoly I've just thought of.
It launched today, but its poor website currently seems to be having a bit of a funny turn about all the visitors, so don't expect to get in right away. Plenty of time, however. The idea is that every new player gets given three million pretend dollars, then goes pretend shopping for pretent real estate across the pretend globe. As in the board game, their pretend streets can be used to charge rent and/or to erect buildings upon, but a twist is that Chance cards are now used to sabotage rivals' streets. So, er, it's not like Cities XL at all. But it has got streets in it! Yes, streets!
It's a lovely idea - just hope it isn't simply a rich-get-richer affair (oh! irony!), in which a handful of psychotically committed folk race ahead and make everyone else feel pretty useless.
Again, the site keeps falling over for me (I'm having terrible luck with MMOs today), but give it a go yourself here.