Author Topic: Hasbro Suit Sidelines 'Scrabulous'  (Read 1423 times)

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Hasbro Suit Sidelines 'Scrabulous'
« on: July 31, 2008, 02:06:34 PM »
Hasbro Suit Sidelines 'Scrabulous'
For U.S. & Canadian Facebook Users
July 31, 2008

A lawsuit filed by Hasbro last Thursday against two Indian brothers (Rajat and Jayant Agarwalla) who created Scrabulous, a free online game based on Scrabble that became one of the biggest hits on Facebook, has led the brothers to disable Scrabulous for U.S. and Canadian Facebook users (Hasbro has North American rights to the game of Scrabble, while rival Mattel has rights for the rest of the world). 

The Scrabulous game, which uses a board and mechanics that appear to be lifted directly from the Scrabble board game, allows players compete across the continents (see “Game Giants Confront Scrabulous”).  Introduced on Facebook a year ago, Scrabulous quickly became one of the top ten most actively used programs on a daily basis on the popular social networking site, attracting an estimated 500,000 daily users on Facebook and over 2 million users worldwide.

While Scrabulous does apparently infringe on Hasbro and Mattel’s intellectual property, it is also true that sales of the Scrabble board game have increased across the world since Scrabulous took off as an online activity.  Rather than attempt to buy the Agarwalla brothers out and add Scrabulous, which is now generating $25,000 per month in ad revenue, to its online portfolio, Hasbro has taken a more aggressive approach.  It remains to be seen how many of those millions of Scrabulous players will switch over to Hasbro’s official Scrabble Facebook application, which has so far garnered only 8,900 users in the month that it has been live online--and of course, just because Scrabulous is not available to North American players on Facebook, does not mean that those players will be unable to access the game somewhere on the worldwide Web.
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