Anguished cries will ring out from cubicles around North America today. It seems that Hasbro has finally stuck the knife into Scrabulous…and twisted.
Scrabulous users have known for months that Hasbro was planning on putting the unofficial Scrabble site out of business. A couple of weeks ago EA launched its own Facebook Scrabble app with Hasbro’s blessing. And in the past 24 hours Hasbro succeeded in forcing Scrabulous off Facebook.
It looks like you can still play on Scrabulous.com. But somehow playing via Scrabulous.com is nowhere near as rewarding. I know, I’ve tried.
The irony is that I was asked to be a beta tester for EA’s new version of Scrabble at the beginning of this month and, to be honest, I thought it was pretty good. The one and only problem I could find was that because the rights for Scrabble have been sold to two different companies in two parts of the world, I could only play EA Scrabble with people in North America. Which is kind of ridiculous considering the main benefit of internet Scrabble ought to be that you can play with anyone, anywhere, anytime.
Since I liked the look and feel of EA Scrabble I was planning on using EA for games in North America and Scrabulous for playing with friends in Europe. Not anymore.
You would have thought that since Scrabulous is so popular, Hasbro would have thought a little more before doing something like this. Then again, anyone who has read Stefan Fatsis’ paean to Scrabble, Word Freak, would know that Hasbro has never been all that interested in helping the game anyway.