Tens of Thousands of Fans of the unofficial Scrabble application, Scrabulous, have been left in the dark after social networking site Facebook, agreed to remove the controversial application from all its local-language websites with the exception of India - also Mattel has launched legal proceedings there as well.
Hasbro and Matel have their own official version of Scrabble but it hasn't reached the expected level of popularity as its predecessor, with only 70,000 active users, roughly a tenth of Scrabulous daily audience audience during its heyday.
The two brothers behind Scrabulous Rajat and Jayant Agarwalla have already launched a makeshift replacement called Wordscraper which uses circular pieces and has a whole new set of rules.
In a statement, Jayant Agarwalla lambasted Mattel "It surprises us that Mattel chose to direct Facebook to take down Scrabulous without waiting for the decision [of the Indian courts]. Mattel's action speaks volumes about their business practices and respect for the judiciary."
That said, it is quite flabbergasting that Scrabulous lived so long; the application is quite clearly based on Scrabble and was a sitting duck waiting to be shot at.
Some might say that Mattel's approach was quite heavy-handed and that it could have purchased it altogether and pushed it even further; but that would have certainly encouraged others to do the same, spawning a whole generation of game clones.