Facebook has finally pulled the plug on Scrabulous.
Beginning this morning, users who attempt to access the game are greeted with a message saying, “Scrabulous is disabled for U.S. and Canadian customers until further notice.” An included email link promises news and updates about the future of the game, but no other information is currently available.
The move comes on the heels of more aggressive action by Hasbro to shut down the game, a blatant clone of the classic Scrabble board game. While the company originally sent a notice asking for the removal of the game in January, Facebook declined to do so, presumably because of Scrabulous’ popularity, but earlier in July Hasbro launched legal action against the game’s creators and made a second, apparently more compelling request that the game be shut down.
Hasbro’s own official Scrabble is now available on Facebook, although early response to the game has been somewhat lukewarm. Scrabulous fans, meanwhile, can still get their fix at Scrabulous.com, which is still in operation despite the Facebook closure.
Update: Scrabulous co-creator Rajat Agarwalla has sent us a statement regarding Facebook’s decision to remove the game from their service.
“Facebook has informed us that they have received a legal notice from Hasbro in reference to the Scrabulous application. In deference to Facebook’s concerns and without prejudice to our legal rights, we have had to restrict our fans in USA and Canada from accessing the Scrabulous application on Facebook until further notice,” Agarwalla said.
“This is an unfortunate event and not something that we are very pleased about, especially as Mattel has been pursuing the matter in Indian courts for the past few months,” he continued. “We will sincerely hope to bring to our fans brighter news in the days to come.”