Remember Scrabulous? The highly popular Facebook application and online adaptation of the classic Hasbro word game, Scrabble? The same one that, at its height of popularity this past winter, probably sucked up dozens, maybe even hundreds, of boredom hours while you were at work? Seems so December ’07, doesn’t it? So much so that we hadn’t even noticed that Scrabulous had disappeared from our Facebook profiles until happening upon the following news item a few hours ago.
If you recall, Hasbro had sued the creators of Scrabulous for copyright infringement, threatening to force it off of its online home at the social networking giant. So two days ago, Scrabulous’ creators blocked the game from users in the U.S.and Canada. But today, as the Associated Press reports, the game is back, albeit in a somewhat altered form. It’s called Wordscraper, and—get this—it uses circular tiles instead of square ones! And as if rearranging the placement of the double and triple word scores wasn’t enough, you can now quadruple your word score! Revolutionary, indeed. But will the changes be enough to get Hasbro to chill out?
“It’s going to come down to the little things like squares and circles and double, triple and so on,” Ethan Horwitz, an intellectual-property lawyer at King and Spalding in New York, told the AP. “What they’ve done is taking a step in the right direction, but I don’t think it’s a big enough step.”