Scrabulous Scrapped on Facebook

Devoted Scrabulous fans were f-u-r-i-o-u-s to find out today that their favorite online game has been scrapped from Facebook.

Fans of the game who tried to log on to the Scrabble copycat this morning on Facebook were greeted with this 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. "

When users click, they are taken to a note posted by the game's developers, Indian brothers Rajat Agarwalla and Jayant Agarwalla.

"Dear Friend, Please enter your e-mail address below to receive further updates. Your e-mail will remain with us and shall not be disclosed to third parties. Thank you! Rajat & Jayant."

Scrabble Online

The decision to remove the application came from the developers, not Facebook, the social network told

"In response to a legal request from Hasbro, the copyright and trademark holder for Scrabble in the U.S. and Canada, the developers of Scrabulous have suspended their application in the U.S. and Canada until further notice," the company said in an emailed statement.

Outrage on the Facebook group "Save Scrabulous," the largest group of its kind -- more than 45,000 members strong -- was instantaneous. Fans of the game posted messages littered with words such as "madness" and "travesty," as well as several expletives, and encouraged fans to voice their displeasure to Hasbro, either by calling the customer service line -- or the company's CEO.

"I think this is a very dumb decision by Hasbro. For me and a number of our friends, we haven't thought about playing Scrabble for a long time ... I'll say Scrabulous got my interest in Scrabble again," Dominic Hung, a 28-year-old in Vancouver, British Columbia, wrote to in an e-mail.

Derek Webster, a 35-year-old graphic designer from Toronto and 8-month player of Scrabulous, said he was disappointed that Scrabulous was pulled. According to Webster, the official online version of Scrabble has too many "bells and whistles."

Webster said he will be protesting via e-mail.

"I did send an e-mail off to the American and Canadian e-mail addresses just to say thanks, but no thanks" to the official Scrabble application released earlier this month on Facebook, he said.

Jason Madhosingh, the 30-year-old New Yorker that founded the Save Scrabulous group, says that Hasbro botched a chance to connect with a new generation of would-be Scrabble players.

"I think that the big loss here is that Hasbro has realy missed an opportunity to connec with a passionate fan base," he said. "The lack of engagement ... has an impact on brand preference and how strongly consumers feel about the brand and the company that delivers that brand."

As for the new Scrabble application, Madhosingh says he won't be installing it.

"I think it's something that I think was done in a way that alienated a large group of passionate fans and I'm unwilling to support that," he said.

Some fans complained that they had problems accessing the official version of Scrabble -- released by Hasbro and video game developer Electronic Arts -- on Facebook today.

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