Hell hath no fury like a gamer scorned – Hackers take down EA’s Scrabble

Posted by Humphrey Cheung

San Mateo (CA) – Scrabble Beta, the official Hasbro-licensed online game made by Electronic Arts, has been shut down by hackers.  Barely a week old, the official version of the game was meant to legally replace the immensely popular Scrabulous game which was taken down by legal action from Hasbro.  However, most players couldn’t access the replacement game yesterday and today.  Electronic Arts has released a statement blaming the problems on a “malicious attack” that resulted in the “disabling of Scrabble on Facebook”.  EA promises that its working hard to resolve the issue.

We previously reported that Scrabble-clone, Scrabulous, was taken down earlier this week after Hasbro sued the game’s creators for copyright infringement.  Rajat and Jayant Agarwall from Calcutta created the game back in July 2006 and Scrabulous had become one of the most popular online games with approximately 500,000 daily players.  In sharp contrast, the official Electronic Arts version so far has averaged 12 to 15 thousand daily players.

But many people don't believe Electronic Arts’ official explanation and think the inaccessibility was caused by a product that was rushed to market.  Certainly, most Scrabulous fans are livid about their game’s departure and have been venting their thoughts on several Facebook forums.  One user says Electronic Arts was simply not prepared for the traffic.  “I think their platform was over whelmed with all the traffic it was receiving when people woke up and realized they could no longer play scrabulous.”  Another user, called Zoe, also didn’t buy EA’s explanation.  “Funny that Scrabulous never had any malicious attacks. LOL.  Sounds pretty bogus to me.”

As of this afternoon, Facebook users were still having a tough time accessing the game.  “Scrabble Beta is too s-l-o-w- zzzzzzzzzzzzz” on person said, while another exclaimed, “Would be great if it could even load.”

The Agarwall brothers are vowing to continue their legal defense against Hasbro.