16 January, 2008

Scrabulous shutdown

According to the BBC, Facebook have been ordered to remove the Scrabulous game from its website by Lawyers for toy makers Hasbro and Mattel, who say it infringes their copyright on the board-based word game.

Now I may be over simplifying things but it seems to me that they have missed a trick here. According to the Beeb the add-on regularly racks up more than 500,000 daily users. I can't remember the last time I played it for real. So it would appear that an otherwise fantastic brand revival is being thwarted, just for the sake of pride from the manufacturers. As one message on the 'Save Scrabulous' group wall reads:

I didn't have any Scrabble sets when I started playing Scrabulous a few months
ago. Since I got hooked on that I have bought two sets.

Of course, there is more to this than meets the eye.

Now the real issue stems from who owns the rights to the game in the first place. Confusingly Hasbro owns rights to the game in the US and Canada while Mattel has rights everywhere else in the world. So perhaps in the race between these two to cash in on the growing popularity, they are destroying the very cash cow that laid the golden egg (as it were). How foolish.

6 comments:

Shadowfax said...

My goodness, nothing for months and then two posts in two days...

Bored at work? ;-)

Alex Pullin said...

Nope - its a New Year's resolution!

Alex P said...

You have to wonder who needs multiple Scrabble sets; one for the office and one for home?!

Alex Pullin said...

One for your left hand and one for your right...

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