Hackers take out EA's Scrabble after Scrabulous removed from Facebook
After a legal threat from Hasbro, Scrabulous has been taken down from Facebook. But EA's official Scrabble game went up only to be promptly taken down by attackers.
The drama between Electronic Arts and Hasbro against Scrabulous and Facebook closely mimics that of a daytime soap opera, and it only continued this week as Scrabulous has officially ended service to North America.
Facebook users who tried to play Scrabulous were met with the following message: "Scrabulous is disabled for U.S. and Canadian users until further notice. If you would like to stay informed about developments in this matter, please click here."
On the same day that Scrabulous ended its run, EA said at least one hacker was responsible for maliciously taking down the company's official version of the game. Scrabble was unavailable this morning, and still appears to be down for users.
Some Scrabulous players have already vowed to abandon online Scrabble now that Scrabulous has been removed, but EA hopes there will be a large group of Facebook users making the transition in the future.
It seems the public backlash towards EA and Hasbro has only begun, with a passionate group of Scrabulous users clearly not happy with their favorite game being removed from Facebook. Hasbro waited until it launched a private beta of its own Scrabble game with EA before officially filing a lawsuit against the creators of Scrabulous and asking for the game to be removed from the site.
Even with a copyright lawsuit facing them, the Scrabulous co-founders, Jayant and Rajat Agarwalla, are preparing a legal defense and have vowed to fight to the end.
The Agarwallas said more than 450,000 users played the game per day, and the brothers made up to $25,000 per month through advertisements. Just 15,000 are playing the trial version of the official Scrabble game.
EA showed interest in purchasing the Scrabulous brand from the Agarwalla brothers, but they declined because the offering price reportedly wasn't high enough.