Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Scrabulous Interruptus

Even if you aren't on Facebook, you probably know by now that Hasbro recently laid the smackdown the Scrabulous application via lawsuit. A collective "What the f***?!" went up yesterday as I and my fellow addicts tried to continue our games, only to see a terse message that Facebook users in the U.S. and Canada were out of luck. Never mind that my competitor A. and I were in the middle of an incredibly tight match. Or that I won my first game just last week.

From a logical standpoint, I understand where Hasbro is coming from. Scrabulous is a blatant, if teriffic, copycat of Scrabble. Hasbro wants people on Facebook to use the official Scrabble application, which reportedly sucks. And you can still play Scrabulous via its Web site, but it's not the same.

In terms of PR, however, Hasbro looks like a hater. A corporate hater who has pissed off hundreds of thousands of people hooked on the game. Any day now, "Hasbro Blows" T-shirts will be available on Cafepress. There are already several anti-Hasbro groups on Facebook with names like "Give Us Scrabulous Or Give Us Death!" and "Please God. I Have So Little: Don't Take Scrabulous, Too."

Thing is, I can't figure out how Scrabulous hurts Hasbro. If anything, wouldn't it encourage people to go out and purchase an actual Scrabble set? As far as I know, Scrabulous is entirely virtual.

Hasbro, give us free!

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