Remember the Scrabulous Scuffle? Well, Mattel decided to take the "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em" route...for a while. But now, according to a Monday New York Times story, Mattel is rethinking its strategy:
So far, though, Scrabulous continues to beat Mattel at its own game:
RealNetworks is quietly introducing a version of Scrabble...despite pledging to save Scrabulous, the wildly popular, unauthorized online version of the board game.In recent weeks, Gamehouse, a division of RealNetworks, introduced “Scrabble by Mattel” on the social networking site Facebook.
As of Sunday, the official Scrabble game had attracted fewer than 2,000 daily Facebook users, in contrast to more than 600,000 on Scrabulous.Mattel seems to be making the wrong move once again. I still think the company is justified in claiming that Scrabulous is infringing on its copyright, but they're not putting themselves in a position to elicit a lot of sympathy. By continuing to set their opponent up for the branding equivalent of a triple-word score, Mattel is playing a game it can't win.
Bonus coverage: Click here to see what Facebook users are saying about Scrabble by Mattel. It may just be a coincidence, but it only takes seven tiles to spell "You suck."