The winner is simply the one who keeps the mall running the longest, before inevitable bankruptcy

Bloomberg created a video game to showcase just how far the American shopping mall has fallen. The American Mall: A 2018 Retail Challenge is a retro video game that leads players on a journey through the quintessential mall as they partake in different management roles. First, the player must choose a wealthy character to invest in the failing mall, perhaps 1980s one-hit-wonder musician Barbara, or Colton, who made his fortune after selling his Beanie Babies collection.

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After the character has been chosen, it’s time to strategize. Players must pick the best strategy to bring back business—and hope that stores pay their rent. The store brands and businesses used in the game are reminiscent of real-life companies, with names like Victoria’s Conspiracy and Del Burrito.

The game offers a variety of scenarios and marketing gimmicks to choose from, including setting up a giant artery as a kid’s game to remind mall goers about heart health. But these decisions can’t be taken lightly, as a wrong marketing ploy can make or break you.

Tenant negotiations are also part of this game, so users will have to face the choice of kicking out store owners for missing rent or cutting them a beak . Another important task is making sure the mall is clean, keeping it free of pests like rats. The winner is simply the one who keeps the mall running the longest, before eventual bankruptcy.

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According to AdWeek, Bloomberg built the game as part of a series outlining the demise of retail, including a visual piece, “The Death of Clothing.” It serves as an entertaining yet pointed example of the forces working against malls in the U.S.

The American Mall: A 2018 Retail Challenge

Bloomberg created a video game to showcase just how far the American shopping mall has fallen. The American Mall: A 2018 Retail Challenge is a retro video game that leads players on a journey through the quintessential mall as they partake in different management roles. First, the player must choose a wealthy character to invest in the failing mall, perhaps 1980s one-hit-wonder musician Barbara, or Colton, who made his fortune after selling his Beanie Babies collection.

After the character has been chosen, it’s time to strategize. Players must pick the best strategy to bring back business—and hope that stores pay their rent. The store brands and businesses used in the game are reminiscent of real-life companies, with names like Victoria’s Conspiracy and Del Burrito.