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Facebook Replaces Scrabulous With Wordscraper

 11:22 am on Aug 1, 2008 (gmt 0)

Facebook Replaces Scrabulous [washingtonpost.com] With Wordscraper
The brothers behind the popular Facebook application Scrabulous have returned to the social networking site with a new word puzzle game.

In very early reviews, users who have tried out the new game, called Wordscraper, are so far giving it a thumbs-up on the applications's Facebook page. Wordscraper had about 3,500 users late yesterday afternoon.

Earlier story
Facebook Disables Scrabulous in US and Canada [webmasterworld.com]



 2:23 pm on Aug 1, 2008 (gmt 0)

WordScraper rivals Scrabble in its gameplay without stepping on any trademark or copyright toes. And it works. The interface does have some obvious Scrabulous DNA, and IMHO it's better than Scrabulous was; apparently the Ajarwallas have had some time to refine and polish the UI.

Wordscraper is platform on which you can build word puzzle games.

The ironic thing is, with Wordscraper, you can BUILD a Scrabble game on their 15x15 board, by putting the triple-word, double-letter etc spaces into their Scrabble positions. Thus Wordscraper is a metagame, a supergame, of which Scrabble is a possible expression. Scrabble thus becomes a subset of WordScraper, just like Poker is a subset of Playing Cards.

IMHO it's a brilliant response to Hasbro.

The Official Hasbro Scrabble game for Facebook was one of the clumsiest and badly- botched game launches in recent memory. Hasbro did have a chance to win this competition with the legal upper hand, but now my gameplay is going to happen at WordScraper, not Scrabble.

Sorry Hasbro, you lose!


 4:41 pm on Aug 1, 2008 (gmt 0)

I still don't understand why Hasbro wouldn't just try to make a deal with Scrabulous and be the official sponsor of a game that was already hugely popular.

All they had to do was give credit to these guys and say .. "hey thanks for doing this and giving our game a rebirth, let us sponsor the game officially"

Instead they got lawyers and pissed off about 300,000 players who have sworn not to play Scrabble's version regardless of bug fixes.

How much do you think it cost for them for the lawyers and EA to make that crappy version? I bet what ever it was that 1% of that money would have been enough to make a deal with the Scrabulous guys.

Who is in charge of these companies? You know the ones that piss off and sue customers/fans.

[edited by: Demaestro at 4:41 pm (utc) on Aug. 1, 2008]


 4:44 pm on Aug 1, 2008 (gmt 0)

Cool app, but what a waste of time.

I'd rather shop online. :-)


 2:26 pm on Aug 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

All they had to do was give credit to these guys and say .. "hey thanks for doing this and giving our game a rebirth, let us sponsor the game officially"

If someone does a successful knock off of your intellectual property, that's not only ok but you should pay them for it? So not only wouldn't you mind if I scraped your content, but you'd be grateful to me and buy advertising on my site that's duplicating your site?

I understand and to a certain extent agree that the most practical solution can often be the softer, less letigious approach, but you can't fault them for protecting their property.


 4:09 pm on Aug 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

I think Demaestro has a valid point, and it's one echoed in the discussion boards for both apps. Hasbro could have bought Scrabulous, hired the Ajarwallas, upgraded the app with some funding and interface upgrade, redone the branding, and been sitting on an already-established hit. Option two was to shut down Scrabulous with a lawsuit and build their own.

The latter choice, the one they opted for, *should* have been the better choice. One would expect that a big-name game company like EA, backed by Hasbro, would build the best Scrabble app ever.

Except they game they built was awful, and the launch was a disaster. It's only in hindsight that option #1 looks like it would have been a better move. Now the Ajarwallas are still on top, and their new game is fantastic.

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