back to article Hasbro drops lawsuit against Scrabulous creators

Toy maker Hasbro Inc has dropped a lawsuit it filed against Scrabulous creator RJ Softwares. The company said it has withdrawn the suit after the Indian IT firm made changes to its Lexulous and Wordscraper online games. Hasbro told Reuters that the deal "provides people in the US and Canada with a choice of different games …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Can one still say freetards?

    >Many Facebook users had hoped that Hasbro might simply buy the game

    Who are these morons. I'd like to sell them something they already own, I'll even give them free delivery.

  2. mittfh

    The changes

    As far as I can tell...

    8 letters in the rack as standard, unable to place bonus squares (of any type) in the same position on all four diagonals (e.g. 1 in, 1 up from each corner, or 2 in, 2 up etc.)

    Any game in progress on a now disallowed board layout automatically had the board changed to "WordScraper Standard", and the nature of the changes wasn't spelled out to users (only the fact that the changes had been made as part of the settlement)

    Apart from that, the same customisation levels as before - i.e. able to place 4x and 5x bonus tiles in addition to 2x and 3x; place bonus tiles where you like (apart from the positions mentioned above); able to change the distribution and value of letters; and able to choose different styles of board (square - aping the original, circles - original, and 'midnight black' - effectively a negative version of circles).

    Interestingly, two features which WordScraper didn't initially allow appear to be OK under this ruling - tile values printed on the tiles and blank tiles.

  3. Eric Dennis


    Hasbro Sucks. Name anything they make that is flying off store shelves? They're just pissed because someone made a couple of games that they like better than anything Hasbro makes. Someone should buy Hasbro. THEY SUCK!!!

  4. Anonymous Coward

    Of course

    we are talking about facebook users here......:P

  5. Stevie


    This does not bode well for my groundbreaking online collaboration wealth-acquisition simulator "Monopulous".

  6. Matt Bradley

    Eric you're a genius


    (N.B: this works as both a flame, and a congratulation for the obvious flamebait)

  7. James Pickett



    Strikes me there's an opening for a version with derivatives, sub-prime mortgages and where the banker can fail - bailing out by the other players will be optional...

  8. Shane Orahilly
    Thumb Down

    If only...

    ...they could sort their shit out and share the rights of their own Facebook Scrabble app to allow US and Canada players to take on those outside North Freedomia.

  9. Martin Silver badge
    Thumb Up


    It's only the name and the board artwork they can claim - you can't copyright game rules.

    Anyway all you have to do is add a couple of new cards like - "bank error - collect $700bn"

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    If I catch you aping my shape-fitting game, "Tetrilous", I'll slit your face!

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Typical tactics for Hasbro

    I work for a company that was sued by Hasbro over a clone of one of their games. We had to teach them US copyright law: you can't copyright the rules to a game. It's quite clear; even I understood that part of copyright law reading it on my own (IANAL). You can copyright the artwork. You can copyright the printed rules, bound in a book. You can trademark the name. But you can't copyright the rules themselves. So call it something else, don't copy their artwork, and you're fine.

    When we pushed back, Hasbro dropped their pending suit (four weeks later), acknowledging that we were right. Along the way we found remnants of their having sunk other small companies via frivolous litigation. Fortunately we had the money to spend on the lawyers and it didn't sink us, but it very well could have.

  12. James O'Brien

    @Anyway all you have to do is add a couple of new cards like - "bank error - collect $700bn"

    *snickers* now if only I could get some of that $700bn to use for a executive getaway to sort things out.....

    What? You mean companies have already done that? Well &^%$, oh well Ill do it anyway.

  13. Elrond Hubbard

    Better alternatives

    Scrabulous was always a limp implementation of Scrabble in any case. There are plenty of far better crossword games available with far more options than Scrabble/Scrabulous. Try CrossCraze for a start.

  14. Vic

    Have Hasbro...

    ...ever admitted whether or not their sales of an ancient geeks-only board game spiked after Scrabulous arrived? I was watching their results a while back and waiting for one of their analysts to ask. But of course, when did an analyst ask a question we actually wanted the answer to - like 'do you have lots of money invested in really, really dodgy subprime loans?'

    See, the answer to this may provide an answer to whether or not they should have bought a share in Scrabulous or something (or insisted on a free share and then tagged it with their logo).

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ Shane Orahilly

    The problem with the US/rest of world licensing is that Scrabble is only a Hasbro product in the US.

    Mattel holds the license for the rest of the world.

  16. Warhelmet

    Scrabble on the Nintendo DS

    But does Scrabulous allow the word "fuckers".

    I was waiting for an opportunity to drop that one in.


    Hang on, I got a free scrabble cd rom with the Times not so long ago - but with internet play disabled. So, in principle Scrabble has been given away already.

    Honestly, I would not mind playing real Scrabble over the internet as opposed to Scrabulous. There isn't a board game of Scrabulous that gets wheeled out at the family chrimbo festivities. My wife swearing at a Scabulous opponent is not quite the same thing as my in laws getting upset when I trounce them an Scrabble. I used to be crap at Scrabble but playing against a machine has improved my ability no end.

  17. Sam York

    You got a free Scrabble CD, yes

    (I have the same one in fact)

    But this will be fully licensed, paid for and agreed with Mattel! Not the same thing at all...

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    best selling board game for 15 years!

    Scrabble has recently been independently judged the UK's #1 selling

    board game for 2008, for the first time in 15 years. It would be

    interesting to know whether this is due to the 60th anniversary

    promotions, a general resurgence in board games, the credit crunch or

    the massive publicity boost from Scrabulous early in the year. My

    guess would be that it's 90% the last of those things...

    Here's a link to an article in the telegraph

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