The makers of the incredibly popular Scrabulous application for Facebook were told to remove the application or face legal action by Hasbro, the makers of the original dusty Scrabble board. Hasbro lacking any vision of their own waited until they had their own Scrabble application. Reports are saying that this application is not near as polished as Scrabulous was.
It seems Rajat and Jayant Agarwalla, the two guys who created Scrabulous voluntarily took the site down contrary to mainstream media reports of a forced shut down by Facebook. 48 hours later they have a reworked the application and called it Wordscraper which aside from the new name also has a new look and feel to it. I have only quickly tried the game and it has a custom game rules option and a random rules default when setting up the game. You can tell it’s the same Scrabulous interface, but the look is quite different. I will have to play a little more to see how similar it is, but congrats to the developers for getting this out so fast, I wonder if Hasbro will still be able to take legal action.
Hasbro’s own client is said to have many problems and be very slow. I can’t believe how blind this company is. The developers Rajat and Jayant Agarwalla breathed new live into Scrabble. Would Hasbro have even though of a Facebook application? Probably not for awhile, but once they saw someone bringing back a great game they were quick to squash it.
The part I can’t get is why did they not offer to buy out or work with these guys. Work on scrabble branding and come out looking good with a huge user base? Instead they pissed off a lot of die hard Scrabulous fans, released a supposedly buggy Facebook application and still have the competition of Rajat and Jayant Agarwalla. I really hope Wordscraper turns out to be great and that everyone switches to it. I understand intellectual property rights, but seriously, these two developers turned a whole new generation of social media junkies to Scrabble.