Monday, January 14, 2008

Hasbro is at it again...Cease and Desist!

Hasbro is threatening to shut down one of my favorite online activities, Scrabulous from Facebook.

I believe this is Hasbro shooting themselves in the virtual foot, once again. The idea, it seems, is to use legal pressure to remove Scrabulous from the picture so their online version/s of Scrabble don't have the competition.

There's no point in arguing whether or not they can do this. Of course they can. I will continue to argue that they SHOULDN'T. I believe:

* Scrabulous increases the number of Scrabble players in the world, and Hasbro directly benefits from this.
* Hasbro's 'official' Scrabble game should be good enough to make people switch, if is a zero-sum situation. If it's not good enough, it'll fail with or without Scrabulous in the picture.
* Evergreen games like Scrabble, Monopoly, Yahtzee, ect. are going to be more and more difficult to 'own' as more and more fans want to play online. In place of an official version, these home-grown efforts (both for profit and not) are going to keep popping up.
* I play Scrabulous because it's a Facebook app. If Hasbro's isn't and I really doubt it would be, then I'll simply find another free game to play on Facebook and never think about Scrabble again (which I hadn't for years before I started playing Scrabulous.)