An exclusive interview with Peter Griffin
Development Director, Winning Moves
Winning Moves is the games company which creates all the new, custom editions of Monopoly for the European market. They were set up in 1997, by four games industry expert including Phil Orbanes (formerly at Parker Brothers and global Monopoly legend). They are now Hasbro’s exclusive partner for creating new versions of Monopoly and have revolutionised the variations which are produced.
There are some exciting things happening at the company – including the creation of a new division, dedicated to creating custom Monopoly editions for companies. To find out more about this and their other plans for Monopoly, I spoke to Development Director, Peter Griffin, who looks after the entire Monopoly division of the company. In this interview I asked him about the company and the corporate editions of Monopoly.
Hi Peter. Please tell me about yourself; how long have you been at Winning Moves and why did you join the company?
Hello Matthew. I joined Winning Moves at the beginning of 2011. I’m new to the games industry, having worked at Google before Winning Moves, but I’ve always loved games, especially Monopoly. I joined Winning Moves to help set up the new "Custom Games division" of our company, which looks after corporate editions of Monopoly, and to work with Hasbro on our exciting range of retail editions.
Thank you, so, how many editions of Monopoly do you create in the UK every year?
Typically we create a new edition for 4 lucky regions in the UK and Ireland. This year it will be Cork, Dundee, Chelmsford and one more which we will announce very soon. We also produce about 4 versions of the game for entertainment brands which go to general retail, for example Family Guy or James Bond. Also we create a new edition for at least 4 schools, universities or attractions, which are then sold in their own gift stores.
And corporate Monopoly editions – how many of these do you make?
Well this is our new division and we want to keep it as an exclusive club. Over the past few years we have found interest from more and more companies who want to create their own edition. We have created games for Thomas Cook, Virgin Money, Schroders and other leading brands. Last year we made a custom Monopoly game for 5 new companies.
Tell me more about these corporate Monopoly editions? How are the games used by companies?
In a variety of ways. Some companies have used them as gifts for their employees – it makes a pretty exciting alternative to a Christmas hamper! – others give them to their clients as a way of saying thank you. And some companies create them just for the fun and story of having their own exclusive version of the game; it always generates a lot of media interest and, perhaps more importantly, company pride.
What can/can’t be customised on a corporate Monopoly board?
Great question. Well we make a fully customised edition of the game for a company. It becomes, for example, the "Virgin Money Edition" or "Wrigley Edition" of Monopoly. That means we customise many features of the game including, creating a new box, in the colours of the company, a new board with images of people/products of the company, the "properties" can become whatever "squares" the company wants for example their office locations or the services they offer, we rename the houses/hotels to something more fitting, for example "offices" and "headquarters", and we rewrite the chance/community chest cards to fit a fun theme relevant to the company – and many more customisation besides.
The only parts we don’t customise are the four corner squares (Free Parking, Go etc.) – they are sacred Monopoly territory – and obviously the Monopoly logo and Mr Monopoly, we couldn’t possibly make an edition without him!
What is your favourite corporate edition of Monopoly?
Well it is nearly impossible to choose one! We make sure each is quirky and fun in its own way. I loved the Virgin Money edition where you win "second prize in a Richard Branson lookalike competition", and also the Wrigley edition which has the "Hubba Bubba Highway" as one of their property squares.
If I were biased I would have to say that our own "Winning Moves Edition" of Monopoly, created to mark the 1,000,000 game of Monopoly that we produced, has a special place in all our hearts, but every edition is exciting.
How many of each corporate edition do you usually make?
We usually do these as a limited edition – creating 1,000 games for each company. However we have had orders from some companies wanting considerably higher than this number.
Is it only companies who can have their own version of the game?
We also create exclusive editions of Monopoly for schools, universities, museums, visitor attractions and other places that want to create and sell their own version of the game.
And is it only UK companies who can do this?
We have the exclusive rights for new editions of Monopoly across Europe, Middle East, Africa and, as of very recently, Australia and New Zealand. So we have created games for companies across the world.
How can people get in contact with you?
I’m based in the UK and my number is +44 (0) 207 298 9509 or I can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org