Scrabulocalypse Now: The Scrapping of Scrabulous

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It’s being widely reported that Hasbro has asked Facebook to kill Scrabulous, a third-party app for playing Scrabble online.

Scrabulous is insanely popular — it claims around half a million users daily. More important, Scrabulous is insanely popular with me: I never have fewer than 3 games going at once. (And I never, ever cheat.) It’s a beautiful piece of widgetry — I’ve watched the interface evolve over the past couple of months to the point where it’s an almost frictionless experience. I first heard about the trouble with Hasbro a couple of days ago, and I was wondering why I hadn’t gotten all indignant and blogged about it before now. Then I realized: waitaminnit, Hasbro doesn’t make Scrabulous?

Turns out Scrabulous is made by two brothers in Calcutta who never even checked in with Hasbro before they started coding. Wow. I mean, they did a beautiful job and all, and I love free software as much as the next d00d, and yay for the little guy, but how long did they expect that to last? I can’t work up a decent head of steam over that. I just hope Hasbro is smart enough to buy Scrabulous and resuscitate it on a firm legal footing. Because I’ve got a wicked bingo to put down.