Two guys in India developed an online version of Scrabble under the name Scrabulous, which has become incredibly popular. There are currently 629,000 daily users of the application on Facebook. The problem was that it did not have the proper authorization from the copyright holders (Hasbro and Mattel for the board game and Electronic Arts and RealNetworks for digital rights). After a period of lawsuit threats and talks about a deal, RealNetworks has now announced its own Scrabble application for Facebook: “Scrabble by Mattel“. It will only be available to Facebook users outside the US and Canada, although the company will not monitor users’ locations.
The new app has been online for a few weeks and has so far attracted 2,400 daily users. Although still in beta, it has also been critized for not working as well as Scrabulous.
Not surprisingly, many users are commenting on the application page about bugs and suggestions for improvements. Many are also outraged about the fact that users in North America don’t have access to the new app.
RealNetworks should do a better job explaining that they don’t have the rights to make that possible at the moment and they should also actively answer questions and monitor the debate. One could easily have anticipated that some negative feedback would appear during the initial phase and that the future success of the app depends on how you handle this feedback.
Via Marketing Pilgrim.