Scrabulous is dead
Why, oh why, oh why, oh why do businesses see web stuff as a threat? Why do they think they have to ‘own’ something? Why do they think that all their old rules apply in internet-ville? Well? I’ll tell you why. It’s because they’re small-minded idiots who are so wrapped up in their archaic definition of what their market is that they don’t know an opportunity when it bites them in the arse.
The Scrabulous debacle is such an amazing example of corporate stupidity. The Scrabulous application reignited public passion for Scrabble (it resulted in Lea and I buying a board to play offline, anyway). But Hasbro and Mattel (the two owners of the game’s rights) went on the attack against the creators of Scrabulous. They wanted to wipe it off the face of the planet so that Facebook users would play their own proprietary versions of the game instead. Why would anyone in their right mind do that? Scrabulous had an astonishing large userbase for a Facebook app. Surely the sensible thing would be to work with the Scrabulous dudes to help them grow their userbase further, turn it into an opportunity to increase sales and even create merchandising opportunities like personalised boards, T-shirts with slogans made up of Scrabble letters or a book with hints and tips for passionate Scrabulous users.
There are so many ways that these games manufacturers could have turned this disaster into an opportunity. But instead they followed the music business’ approach and shot themselves in the foot.
Read more about it on The Guardian site.