The Shoe Drops On Scrabulous

About 9 months or so ago, literally the only game I played was Scrabulous, a very popular Scrabble clone on Facebook and on it’s own website. It’s an ideal game for turn-based play, and the barrier to entry for the game is so low on Facebook – no need to register on another website, just click to install the app. After a while, my Facebook phase passed and my mistrusting Facebook phase started, so I deleted most of my apps and removed most of my personal information. As a result, I also stopped playing Scrabulous.

Now, RJ Software (two brothers from India), the developers and maintainers of Scrabulous, are finally being sued over trademark and copyright infrigement by Hasbro. I have no idea why that took so long, and for once, I am not picking the side of the tiny little underdog developer versus the huge corporation. Scrabulous is just a blatant rip-off (Kim has some details about that here).

However, Kim makes a good point: because Hasbro owns the rights to Scrabble in the US and Canada while Mattel owns the rights in the rest of the world, it will probably no longer be possible to play Scrabble with everyone. And that is a shame: I played many games of Scrabulous with friends in the US, and a friend of mine here in Vienna plays a lot with her mom in Oregon. Also, rumor has it the official Scrabble Facebook app is not that great. Not that Scrabulous was perfect – far from it. Still, I was hoping a ‘pro’ version of the game would be better.

(Via Brenda Brathwaite.)