Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Hasbro Flexes and Facebook Submits - R.I.P. Scrabulous?!

I saw the writing on the wall months ago, but ignored it, couldn't bring myself to accept the inevitable, and now the inevitable has happened. With one simple message, office workers, friends and foes alike are in mourning. What was this powerful message that has evoked such an outcry? Behold...

Scrabulous is disabled for US and Canadian users until further notice.

This is the culmination of the just recently announced suit that Hasbro filed against the Agarwalla brothers, the blokes behind the ubiquitous Facebook app, Scrabulous. Of course Hasbro has an alternative motive (no, really?!) and hopes that players going through Scrabulous withdrawal give the official Hasbro version of Scrabble on Facebook a try. Silly corporate old school brand - don't they realize that social networking platforms have become so popular if not a part of the fabric of many people's lives in part to avoid being told what to do and how to do it by "the man." No, no no Hasbro - this was a bad move, and though I understand the intention, the execution was poor. Wouldn't Hasbro have been better served by reaching some formal agreement with the Argawalla brothers, and working with not just them but with Facebook by creating a rev share model that all would benefit by having? I mean really, who played Scrabble with regularity until the app was developed for Facebook? Embrace the light Hasbro, turn away from the Dark Side, and embrace your consumers, for they mean you no harm.

For all you diehard Scrabulous fans who refuse to give in to the man, open a new browser window and play Scrabulous on Scrabulous.com, which still appears to be functioning.

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