July 31, 2008 |
Isn't this just the flurry of social gaming news we've had in the last few days? My penchant has been more than satisfied. Though Scrabble creator Hasbro decided to throw a small temper tantrum, known as a "lawsuit," about Scrabulous' rather blantant copy of the popular boardgame for the web, the folks responsible for Scrabulous rallied back and took some precautious measures to make sure the good people of social media wouldn't be without their word game for too long.
The first thing the Scrabulous team did, after taking the game off U.S. and Canadian Facebook sites, was to re-release the game under the new name of Wordscraper. Fairly fitting, and in my mind, still keeps many of the same familiarities of the old name, what with the "Scra" still in the title. They've also changed the game from the classic square tiles to circle tiles, and have rearranged the various bonuses so as to not so blatantly step all over the hurt pride of Hasbro's Scrabble.
Will that be enough to avoid the impending lawsuit, though? My instinct is that Hasbro wouldn't back down from this case if the Scrabulous team made the game a knockoff of Frogger with no letters involved whatsoever. Circles and squares, as Wired points out, might not be enough to differentiate the idea behind the game from that of Scrabble.
I still think the best way Hasbro can proceed is to simply buy Scrabulous outright. Obviously there is a certain amount of red-cheeked shame in failing at delivering the original game to the online social community when you actually originated it, but suck it up. Move on. I seriously doubt that the Scrabulous team would mind a generous offer to buy out the much more successful Scrabble knock-off platform; far from it, it is the biggest compliment that can be payed.
The good news, for all my fellow Scrabble (er…Scrabulous) fans, is that Scrabulous is back in business. Now, will Scrabulous feel more like Keno or Bingo?