Being a fully fledged Twitterer (Tweeter? Twit?), there’s only really one reason I go on Facebook these days and that’s to play Scrabulous. But it looks like the threats of removal have finally been carried out.
At least, I think they have…
Hasbro, who own the rights to Scrabble in the US and Canada, had asked the makers of the game to pull the Scrabulous application from Facebook in those two countries; but as far as I’d read, there was no word from Mattel, who own the rights in the UK.
So I was surprised when, at around 11pm last night, the app had totally disappeared from Facebook in the UK. There were no links to it from homepages or profile pages and going directly to http://apps.facebook.com/scrabulous brought up an error page.
However, this morning, all seems okay again. The application is back (together with the games I was in the middle of playing, which is a relief). Was this a mistake, or were Scrabulous just pre-empting being asked to take it down? I haven’t found out yet, but I guess it will become clear soon enough.
It certainly looks like the future of the Scrabulous app is in doubt, not least because two replacements have popped up over the last couple of days.
Hasbro (or is it Mattel?) have added a new application: Live Scrabble but it’s not popular with users at all. It’s got an average of 1.6 out of 5 stars. “Nasty” music which plays by default and no ability to play with users in the US or Canada are just two of the main gripes.
Meanwhile, the groups and forums are awash with talk of a “new” game, Wordscraper, designed by the same guys who made Scrabulous. It has a board that is suspiciously familiar and apparently allows you to make up your own rules – Scrabble, anyone? – which neatly gets round any potential copyright problems.
I’m sticking to the Scrabulous application while it’s still there – I am winning my current games, after all – but it will be interesting to see whether any of the new versions hold my interest when it does finally go.
If not, then – sorry, Facebook: I’m afraid it might be the end of a beautiful friendship.