The new mobile game Landlord Go lets you ‘buy’ real estate that exists in the real world. It is something of a mashup of the classic board game Monopoly and Pokémon Go.
Of course, you don’t get the deed and no real money is exchanged – well, unless you use one of the game’s microtransactions. But you ‘own’ the building in the game world and collect ‘rent’ on everything from corner stores to famous landmarks.
“Using a massive pool of data, including detailed information about more than half a billion real-world properties, Landlord Go connects the user to their city in an exciting and innovative new way that no other game can offer,” developer Reality Games says.
Players start small, buying up local shops. The goal is to quickly amass a real estate empire through savvy investing. Acquired properties can be placed back on the market where other players can compete in a bidding war on their phones. Or you can just collect rent as the property value increases.
“Landlord Go is incredibly accurate, reflecting real-world values of properties using details like distance from the city center and building amenities,” Reality Games explains. “Anytime another player visits your property in real life, they pay you rent in the game. Each building has a unique daily performance based on real digital footprints.”
In other words, the more visitors your property gets, the higher its value. And the more in-game money you make, the larger your real estate empire becomes. It’s kind of a case study in how people with large sums of money can start to monopolize a market.