by Mike Masnick
Wed, Jan 7th 2009 12:20pm
We've been chronicling just how badly both Hasbro and Mattel screwed up in responding to the massive success of Scrabulous on Facebook. The ridiculously popular application was attracting over 500,000 users every day and (amazingly) making Scrabble cool again, pumping up sales of the physical board game. But, of course, the intellectual property lawyers freaked out and said "this must stop." The resulting legal threats and lawsuits created quite a lot of backlash and anger (and a boycott of Hasbro games). Venturebeat is now looking at the aftermath, and shows that the fight effectively killed all momentum for Scrabble on Facebook. Part of the problem may be that the game is now fragmented, with a Hasbro version serving some countries, a Mattel version serving others and the Scrabulous makers' "modified" Wordscraper on the market as well. The end result is that each has significantly fewer users than Scrabulous had. In fact, the monthly number of users pales in comparison to the daily number of users that Scrabulous had. Great way to kill a wonderful (free) promotion that was attracting thousands of new fans to the game.
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