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Facebook pulls Scrabulous

Scrabulous has been taken down by Facebook
Scrabulous has been taken down by Facebook

The long and drawn-out battle between Mattel, the makers of word-game Scrabble and the founders of Scrabulous has come to its inevitable end, with the app pulled from Facebook.

The legal wranglings started back in January when Mattel decided that Scrabulous was infringing on Scrabble. The game, which appeared on social-networking site Facebook, allowed users to play a Scrabble-like game among each other.

The popularity of Scrabulous – which saw over 600,000 people a day logging in to play – was actually the undoing of the game as it prompted Mattel to create its own online version of Scrabble (with Electronic Arts) and start legal action against Scrabulous for copyright infringement.

The only place where you can actually play the game is in India, where the makers of Scrabulous, Rajat and Jayant Agarwalla, are based. This is only because the Indian courts are still deciding the "question of ownership" of Scrabulous.

Bye bye Scrabulous, hello Wordscraper

Facebook pulling the game has not stopped the Agarwalla brothers creating another word-based app for the site. Called Wordscraper, the game has new rules and uses circular tiles instead of square ones.

Even with this new app up and running, its makers aren't too happy with the decision to end Scrabulous, with Jayant Agarwalla saying in a statement: "It surprises us that Mattel chose to direct Facebook to take down Scrabulous without waiting for the (Indian court's) decision.

"Mattel's action speaks volumes about their business practices and respect for the judiciary."