Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Scrabulous Game Removed from Facebook

Here's an interesting article from the Washington Post: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/07/29/AR2008072901393_pf.html

A preview of the article...
It's game over for Scrabulous; the popular Scrabble knockoff game on Facebook is no longer available as of this morning.

Facebook users who logged on to play the word puzzle game this morning instead got a message that it has been "disabled for U.S. and Canadian users until further notice."

The game was one of the most popular applications on the social networking site, but Hasbro filed a lawsuit last week accusing Scrabulous makers of having infringed on copyrights with the Facebook game.

Hasbro and Mattel, which share global ownership of the Scrabble trademark, had asked Facebook to remove the game in January. Hasbro has partnered with game publisher Electronic Arts to develop a new version of the game for Facebook.

According to the Scrabulous page on Facebook, the game developed by a pair of brothers in India had 509,505 daily active users. The application was launched last summer.

Washington PR consultant John Edgell said he logged onto Facebook at 7:30 a.m. to continue a match he was playing with a Facebook acquaintance, only to find that the application was down.

"I was getting creamed, so it's probably a good thing in that respect," he joked. "The country is probably 10 percent more productive today."

One of those users was Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, who has said that he is a fan of the game and plays it with his grandparents.

Electronic Arts launched its Scrabble game, for Facebook and cell phones, earlier this month.

In a statement released today, Hasbro steered frustrated Scrabulous fans to the new application.

"In deference to the fans, we waited in pursuing legal action until Electronic Arts had a legitimate alternative available. We invite Scrabble fans in the U.S. and Canada to log onto Facebook and try out the authentic Scrabble application."

But the new Scrabble application was generating mostly hate mail today. Users complained on the application's Facebook page that the game was slow and buggy.

"Scrabulous was great PR for you and you had to ruin it for EVERYONE," wrote one Facebook user. "As the mother of 2, i will be boycotting all hasbro products until you do the right thing."

No comments: