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Summary:

Scrabulous is like Danger Mouse’s The Grey Album of Facebook Apps. Everyone loves it except the guys who own Scrabble (Mattel and Hasbro), the board game that inspired Scrabulous. The legal troubles of the game cooked up by Rajat and Jayant Agarwalla, two brothers living in […]

Scrabulous is like Danger Mouse’s The Grey Album of Facebook Apps. Everyone loves it except the guys who own Scrabble (Mattel and Hasbro), the board game that inspired Scrabulous.

The legal troubles of the game cooked up by Rajat and Jayant Agarwalla, two brothers living in Calcutta, have been well chronicled, most recently by The New York Times. The game which has about 700,000 daily players brings in about $25,000 in monthly advertising revenues from online advertising.

All this attention has made Scrabble cool again. Electronics Arts is going to put out an online game. RealNetworks which has licenses from Hasbro and Mattel, want to make a Scrabble move, which spells S-C-R-A-B-U-L-O-U-S.

Harold Zeitz, senior vice president for games at RealNetworks, said Friday that he was working closely with the Agarwalla brothers to bring the official Scrabble game to Facebook users.

Following the release of the article, Bill Hankes, VP of Corporate Communications at RealNetworks sent a curious email, which makes me wonder if Real is planning to acquire Scrabulous.

Hankes in his email said that Real is not part of any legal action against Scrabulous, and since they have licenses from both Hasbro and Mattel, “we are in a unique position to bring all the parties together in an effort to preserve the Scrabble experience for millions of Scrabulous fans.” I contacted Hankes and asked him if Real was looking to buy Scrabulous.

We aren’t saying anything that specific, except that we’re big fans of Scrabulous and think because of our licenses from both Hasbro and Mattel that we’re in a good position to work with them keep the Scrabble experience on Facebook.

While he doesn’t necessarily say anything specific, the act of reaching out and talking about their ability to keep Scrabulous going tells me Real is hoping to make a play for Scrabulous.And if they did, it would be a pretty smart move on their part.

Real has been getting very serious about casual gaming, especially ad-supported casual gaming. It would get them a hit game for their casual gaming business and more over it would give them an entry into the Facebook/Social Gaming space, where they are facing competition from a whole slew of new comers.

Related Link:The GigaOM Show interview with Rob Glaser, CEO & Founder of RealNetworks.

  1. [...] to a comment made by Om Malik of GigaOM (in response to a New York Times story published today), RealNetworks seems to be offering the [...]

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  2. [...] to a comment made by Om Malik of GigaOM (in response to a New York Times story published today), RealNetworks seems to be offering the [...]

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  3. [...] to a comment made by Om Malik of GigaOM (in response to a New York Times story published today), RealNetworks seems to be offering the [...]

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  4. Sachin Balagopalan Sunday, March 2, 2008

    Interesting how online board games might be the next big opportunity…

    http://tinyurl.com/2wd76b

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  5. Its quite uninspiring that both you and VentureBeat decided to put this up on your blogs today, reporting nothing new than what has already been discussed in the Times piece. I see this as a repeated pattern – there is almost no original thinking or reporting being done on either your or the VentureBeat blogs. You are basically repeating news that is out already, adding no value for the most part. Sorry, I am harsh. But I am harsh because I care and because I expect more from you.

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  6. [...] Will RealNetworks Buy Scrabulous? – GigaOM Can you spell awesome? (tags: onlinemarketing) [...]

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  7. [...] Om Malik posted yesterday about how RealNetworks was working with the Agarwalla brothers (the guys who created Scrabulous) to make sure that Scrabulous stays online. In the post he mentions that RealNetworks has licensing agreements with both Hasbro and Mattel (who are the owners of the Scrabble brand). [...]

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  8. [...] to a comment made by Om Malik of GigaOM (in response to a New York Times story published today), RealNetworks seems to be offering the [...]

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  9. [...] Scrabble clone that was the favorite app amongst Facebook employess mere months ago. According to a comment made by Om Malik of GigaOM, RealNetworks seems to be offering the impression that it wants to take a stab at bringing some [...]

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  10. 1dr9GC hi good site thx http://peace.com

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