From Friday’s The Oklahoman:
By Matthew Price
Acting Assistant Features Editor
THE NEXT LEVEL
EA and Hasbro have announced a deal to bring some of Hasbro’s best-selling board games to video game consoles, mobile phones and the Internet. What this will mean to a popular game on a social-networking site is yet unclear.
At this week’s Toy Fair in New York, EA unveiled Littlest Pet Shop on the Wii and DS, NERF “N-Strike” and EA Mobile’s Scrabble, Yahtzee Adventures and Monopoly Here & Now.
“Scrabble” and “Yahtzee Deluxe” are already available on mobile phones; EA Mobile will expand in 2008 to also include “Monopoly Here & Now,” “Trivial Pursuit,” “RISK” and “Yahtzee Adventures.”
Pogo.com will provide online play for Monopoly and Yahtzee, with Trivial Pursuit to come in the fall.
“EA and Hasbro want to give families new ways to enjoy games; we want give them a new way to come together, connect, spend time and have fun around the TV or online,” said Chip Lange, Vice President and General Manager of EA’s Hasbro Studio, in a news release.
What will Hasbro’s plans mean to the popular “Scrabulous” game, played by more than half a million people daily on the social networking site Facebook.com?
As reported by Fortune, Hasbro sent a cease and desist letter to Facebook. Facebook didn’t actually create Scrabulous, although the site hosts games and applications created by users. The creators of Scrabulous — brothers Jayant and Ragat Agarwalla — told Fortune they created Scrabulous when they couldn’t find a free online version.
There are authorized versions of Scrabble online, but Hasbro has stamped out online competitors before. According to the Web site Slashdot, Hasbro shut down e-Scrabble.com in 2005, despite its more than 100,000 users. www.e-scrabble.com now redirects to Hasbro. Given the popularity and the high profile of Scrabulous, users posting on the “Scrabulous” page on Facebook are hoping for an amicable solution.