/ July 9, 2008

Scrabble Fabulous?

Everyone’s played Scrabble, or at least heard of the classic, international board game, but Facebook users are ditching tradition and playing something they find a little more fabulous. Scrabulous was created by the Agarwalla brothers of India, both avid Scrabble and Facebook enthusiasts, after they could not satisfy their need for a Scrabble-like application on the internet. To the displeasure of the Hasbro, Scrabble’s North American owner, Scrabulous is starting to grab quite a bit of attention, detracting from the official game itself. Despite attempts to shut down the copy-cat application, Hasbro has only met with more of their own challenges as users are doing their best to protest these actions. With the ease of Facebook at their fingertips, all those who love Scrabulous can wage quite a war against the American entertainment giant.

To counter their opponents, Hasbro has decided to create their own application for Facebook that will also be launched separately online in the hopes of bringing fans back to the original. According to designers, much of the game will look like its rival application but they hope their reputation as a successful company will attract users to a more reliable product unlike many of the Facebook applications known for faulty behavior. As for those who prefer to play with friends overseas? It looks as though they’ll be out of luck at least for now. Since the rights to Scrabble are owned by different companies essentially according to continent, there are no plans to provide a general application for users around the world. Hasbro has responded to this shortcoming by commenting on the language differences making it difficult for those across borders to play together regardless and plans to continue considering legal action. Should Hasbro decide to follow through on their threats, the Agarwalla’s could face charges of trademark infringement based on the intellectual property behind the Scrabble name.

Source: CNN.com

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