Skip to main content

Scrabulous Pulled, Hackers Target Offical Online Scrabble

A message on the Scrabulous Application page didn’t give much away and at first it was unclear whether or not it was Facebook or the developers that pulled the application. However a statement

released by brothers Jayant and Rajat Agarwalla, who take credit for developing Scrabulous, shed some light on the issue.

“Facebook has informed us that they have received a legal notice from Hasbro in reference to the Scrabulous application. In deference to Facebook’s concerns and without prejudice to our legal rights, we have had to restrict our fans in USA and Canada from accessing the Scrabulous application on Facebook until further notice. This is an unfortunate event and not something that we are very pleased about, especially as Mattel has been pursuing the matter in Indian courts for the past few months. We will sincerely hope to bring to our fans brighter news in the days to come.”

Hasbro and Electronic Arts launched an own open beta of their own official online Scrabble but unfortunately players in the US and Canada seem to be refusing to be bought over. The majority of posts on the Scrabble message boards are from people complaining that it’s buggier than Scrabulous, that they wouldn’t be playing the game on principal or that Hasbro should back off and leave Scrabulous alone.

Yesterday afternoon, the Scrabble application on Facebook experienced what was first thought to be a server crash from unusually high traffic. Now it seems as though it was more a case of hackers (bitter Scrabulous fans, perhaps?) committing to being a thorn in Hasbro’s side.

According to the LATimes, Hasbro was yesterday pinning the blame on a malicious attack rather than technical issues.

“EA’s Scrabble Facebook game experienced a malicious attack this morning, resulting in the disabling of Scrabble on Facebook. We’re working with our partners to resolve this issue and have Scrabble back online and ready to play as soon as possible.”

Scrabble appears to be back up and running on Facebook and those outside the US and Canada are still able to play Scrabulous for now. As for addicts residing inside Hasbro’s jurisdiction? seems to still be going strong although it’s anyone’s guess how long it will remain active.

  • igot1forya
    So whats to stop US/Canada Facebook users from logging on to Facebook's foreign site and playing? I don't see the problem here...
  • gypsysoulFC
    FoxyProxy!! Nothing to stop people from doing that...or something similar
  • I think Hasbro should have offered to buy scrabulous from the developers first and said either take our offer or we'll sue you. As the developer I would have sold and been done with it. I mean, Hasbro spent more programming it themselves. They could have taken that money and added some to it and kept everyone happy - including the developers that worked so hard to build it.

    But with that said, the developers must have realized the game was copyrighted. So really it's their fault. But Hasbro did the wrong PR thing and instead made themselves look like bad guys and upset 600k scrable users. Bad move Hasbro, should have just bought the game from the developers!
  • mdillenbeck
    Hmmm... so the developer should have rewarded someone who stole their intellectual property by buying their product? That sounds a bit off... kinda like if I break into your house and take your computer, tweak the software so it runs better, then say you really should buy it off me since I did such a good job (and if I refuse to sell it back, then you press charges for theft). Maybe Apple should have bought Psystar instead of suing them too.

    Its great that they made a fan base of 600k users of scrabulous user (not scrabble users), but that is 600k people where the majority won't buy the original product. (Again, Psystar said they too were helping out Apple - why is it so few have sympathy for them or buy into the claim that they were helping out Apple sales by pirating their IP?)

    I hate to say it, but maybe Hasbro should have taken the RIAA approach and gone after all the users at triple the game cost plus legal fees to make up for lost earnings.
  • magicandy
    Here's the thing, Juice, they DID confront the developers beforehand and offered to buy it/work with them. Don't let those kids paint the picture for Hasbro because honestly they had their chance and now they're reaping the consequences for their poor choice.