When Scrabulous, a popular game on Facebook's developer platform, was shut down earlier on Tuesday because of copyright infringement issues with the manufacturer of the Scrabble board game, word game fans weren't totally left in the dark. After all, Electronic Arts (which handles the digital rights to Scrabble for the game's parent company, Hasbro) had recently created an official beta version of Scrabble for the platform.
Problem is, the servers that were hosting the "real" Scrabble app couldn't handle the load of new migrants, and the application crashed on Tuesday afternoon. Oops!
"We'll be back up shortly," an apologetic error message read. "We're working on some tech problems and Scrabble will be ready to play as soon as possible!" The game is slated to exit the beta phase in the middle of next month, and some (my colleague Rafe Needleman among them) initially found it to be a better-quality game experience than Scrabulous had been.
But in the wake of a server crash, Facebook users weren't too pleased, as the message wall for the Scrabble application revealed. "Wow, does this suck," one Facebook user wrote. "Why can't you guys work out a licensing deal with the Scrabulous boys? Now we're back to square one and have to go through all of your debugging process."
Well, to be fair, rumor has it that Hasbro put out an acquisition offer for Scrabulous, only to have it rebuffed because its creators thought the amount offered was insufficient.
"Sucks, sucks, sucks," another Facebook user said. "Locks up at 30 percent loading. Sucks. Oh, did I mention it sucks? Get a grip, Hasbro."
Too bad "FAIL" will net you only seven points.