Over the last few weeks we have all been reading about the legal action being taken against the creators of Scrabulous and while yes they were infringing on the copyright of another company, I think Hasbro could have handled the situation much better. And yes Scrabulous was breaking the law, I know that! But if your going to potentially piss off 500,000+ people I think the costs and options need to be analyzed. Something Hasbro thought about after shutting Scrabulous down.
Now, Just to be clear… I’ve never played the game myself and really don’t intend to. But it is one of those learn from your mistake scenarios. It is also an interesting situation given the business I am in. We are monitoring the web with MediaBadger and we are curious how Hasbro will deal with this?
In reading some of the blogs, social media sites and comments from users that play the Scrabulous game I have come to realize that it had quite the following and most important it worked. Thats right, Scrabulous worked and the Hasbro version doesn’t, at least this is what I am told (seems to be a trend this week, launching products only to fall over, Cuil?).
So while users of Scrabulous try to adapt and use the official version that from all accounts doesn’t work it would seem that Hasbro has had a bit of a blunder. Force a favorite offline and launch a product that doesn’t work. From what I’ve been reading Hasbro has realized the error in their ways and have offered to purchase Scrabulous, only to be turned away cause the offer was inadequate.
So, what is the lesson learned? Research, make sure when you decide to shut down a service with 500,000+ users that you have something to fill the void. Cause that is a lot of negative publicity and potential lost customers/revenue. I don’t think I’d want a job in Hasbro’s PR department.