Scrabulous still Alive!

by Sachin Balagopalan on July 8, 2008 · 1 comment

Looks like Hasbro has given it’s blessing to Electronic Arts the video game giant that owns the rights to digital versions of the board game Scrabble, to release a Facebook version of the game later this month. A little too late if you ask me considering the fact that another version of the game called Scrabulous is huge on Facebook with about 500,000 members playing the game daily. Many of us remember how the fat execs at Hasbro/Mattel tried to bully the Agarwalla brothers (creators of Scrabulous) by threating them with lawsuits and urging Facebook to take the game down.

Back in January in this post I said…

It would be in Mattel/Hasbro’s interest to work with these guys rather than fight them. They have the resources to add more value and the Agarwalla’s are obviously full of ideas. Offer them some kind of deal that’s lucrative and let them run away with it. It will beneficial to both the parties.

I still believe Mattel/Hasbro should have engaged the Agarwallas especially now that we know they are trying to sell it. Scrabulous is now a household name and there is a whole generation of folks on Facebook who are not familiar with the original board game but are familiar with Scrabulous on Facebook. People are not going to switch to the EA version just because the owners of the trademark have sanctioned it. Quite frankly no one cares at this point. In typical big company fashion decisions were made at Hasbro/Mattel by people who have no clue as to what is really going on in the marketplace. First of all someone at the company should have noticed the opportunity traditional board games (that no one ever plays anymore) have when they are made available on-line in a social network comprising of 80 million members. Secondly after the Agarwalla’s created the frenzy someone at the company should have advised the clueless execs to jump on the band wagon instead of bullying those guys. That strategy would have perhaps worked better because they would not only have acquired the user base but also the talent which they could have utilized for other projects.

IMO Hasbro/Mattel totally screwed this up. Barring any serious legalities Scrabulous will remain on Facebook and the EA version will probably fizzle out.


{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Marlo 07.08.08 at 11:31 am

Nice thoughts, but the fact is, the law gives the edge to Hasbro. Scrabulous will be shut down once Hasbro/EA release their version.

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