Original Published on Aug 18, 2022 at 14:33

By John Watson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Outset Media and Walmart Canada have partnered together and are celebrating Strathmore with a limited-edition version of the Monopoly board game. 

Titled “Strathmore-opoly,” the game plays near identically to the classic version of Monopoly, however the available properties on the board are themed around the town.

Outset Media public relations coordinator Jared Clarkson said the partnership with Walmart Canada has been ongoing for a few years and Strathmore is one of 200 municipalities across Canada to have been selected for a version of the game.

“They approached us to help them with creating these games for different cities in Canada. There was a similar program that had been going on in the United States previously and they saw the success of that and really wanted to get in and do the same thing for Canadian cities,” said Clarkson. “It’s been going on for three years and we’re close to hitting 200 different cities We’ll probably hit that sometime next year would be my guess.”

Clarkson said the program began with creating versions of the game for larger cities and urban centres such as Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Edmonton and Calgary, but a larger metric of success was found in smaller cities and towns where community was more prevalently celebrated.

The Outset Media team does not collaborate with or reach out to the selected municipalities in any fashion, though during their development process keys the game versions off notable and popular locations throughout the indicated municipalities.

“A lot of small communities tend to celebrate where you’re from and have a lot of hometown pride. So that was kind of one of the reasons … Strathmore ended up on our radar as one of the (places) that we felt would be a great candidate,” said Clarkson. “Obviously, we’re not able to include everything, that’s just kind of the nature of the game. But, we try to make sure that there’s enough included that someone from Strathmore would feel that it’s a pretty good reflection of the community.”

Unlike starting from scratch with a new board game, new versions of Monopoly can be developed and sent out with relative speed and efficiency. 

Typical board game development can elapse years before a final product is able to hit shelves. For a spin-off of an already well-established game, the process is dramatically reduced. 

“That’s one of the benefits to having a set idea that we’re working with. It’s not something that has to be constantly like reinventing the wheel every time we do a new city,” said Clarkson. “It’s obviously a very similar game, it’s just we’ve customized it a little bit as far as the properties that are included in that game, so we are able to do a pretty quick turnaround for them.”

Copies of Strathmore-opoly are expected to be available on shelves at the Strathmore Walmart location very soon, if not already. Copies had been shipped to the store prior to publication. 

Should the game sell out, those who still want a copy do not yet have to stress, as multiple waves of shipments are planned for delivery to the local Walmart location.

This item reprinted with permission from the Times, Strathmore, Alberta