Thursday, 21 February 2008

Queenstown's World Monopoly bid slipping

Queenstown's bid to secure a place on the upcoming "World Edition" Monopoly game board is looking shaky, with the town slipping out of the Top 20 with just a week of voting to go.

The popular South Island resort town had previously been as high as 12th on the leaderboard, in the online global vote being run by games company Hasbro.

Board game fans around the world can vote at the international Monopoly website, although New Zealanders are being encouraged to register and vote through (which also puts kiwi voters in the draw to win a trip to one of the nominated cities.)

Hasbro are looking to find the "22 greatest cities in the world", which will be included on the first-ever "Monopoly Here & Now: World Edition" game board, due for release before Christmas.

Voting began in late January, and continues through until February 29. People can vote once a day for their favourite "city" or cities, which also include Riga (Latvia), Jerusalem (Israel), New York (USA), and Dubai (United Arab Emirates).

The top 20 places will be confirmed after voting ends, with other cities (including Auckland) set to compete in a "wildcard vote" for the last two spots on the board.

Queenstown tourism bosses are keen to secure a spot on the new game board, with Hasbro estimating over 100 million people will play the new Monopoly World Edition in the next five years.

Meanwhile, the world's most popular board game Monopoly could be hitting a movie screen near you in the next few years.

Hasbro has signed a multi-year deal with Universal Pictures to produce a series of feature films based on their well-known games like Monopoly, Battleship, and Candy Land. The first movie from the deal is due for release around 2010.

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