Scrabble on Facebook Crashes, and EA Blames Hackers

Facebook’s online Scrabble application came up blank Wednesday as an apparent hacker attack pulled down the application. Game maker Electronic Arts, partnering with Hasbro, the publisher of Scrabble, released a statement that read in part, “”We’re working with our partners to resolve this issue and have Scrabble back online and ready to play as soon as possible.”

The shutdown of the game came directly after Facebook took Scrabble knockoff Scrabulous offline amid threats of a lawsuit from Hasbro. Scrabulous is a product of an independent software company based in India. The Indian company continues to offer its Scrabble clone outside the U.S. and Canada.

‘Tech Problems’

When attempting to load the Scrabble beta application in Facebook, users received the following screen message:

“We’ll be back up shortly …

“We’re working on some tech problems and Scrabble will be ready to play as soon as possible! We appreciate all the great feedback we’ve received over the past week and as a result we’re making changes to Scrabble for its official launch in mid-August, including a streamlined app with the option to turn off animations for faster game play and full keyboard functionality for those who prefer this way to play.”

Observers are speculating about whether disgruntled Scrabulous users hacked the system or bugs in the software caused the outage — or a combination of both. While EA claims outside hackers were at fault, some observers believe that may be a cover to save face. Scrabble beta was still out of commission as of Wednesday afternoon.

Evidently former Scrabulous users were angry about the loss of their game. It’s estimated the Scrabulous application had nearly half a million U.S. users before Facebook pulled the plug and substituted the licensed Scrabble beta.

Rebelling Against Scrabble

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