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article imageEA and Hasbro Ink Video Game Deal

By David Silverberg     Feb 11, 2008 in Technology
Electronic Arts and Hasbro are teaming up to bring casual games like Scrabble and Trivial Pursuit to cellphones, consoles and online platforms. Is this partnership the real reason why Hasbro wants Scrabulous off Facebook?
Digital Journal — Last month, Hasbro sent Facebook a cease-and-desist letter to Facebook, saying the third-party game Scrabulous infringed on their copyright of Scrabble, the popular word board game. Critics wondered what may have prompted Hasbro to make this move, and it looks like a recent partnership is the explanation everyone has been looking for.
Electronic Arts announced it is developing Hasbro-branded games for cellphones, gaming consoles and websites. These casual games include Scrabble, Monopoly, Trivial Pursuit, Risk, Operation and many more.
Scrabble is now available for cellphone owners, while Monopoly and Trivial Pursuit will be available for cellphones and online at in fall 2008.
Chip Lange, Vice President and General Manager of EA’s Hasbro Studio, said in a statement: "Bringing the spirit of these games to life as video games has allowed us to create really unique and creative experiences for families and friends of all ages to enjoy together at home or online."
The EA-Hasbro partnership will also develop games for Nintendo Wii: Little Pet Shop allows players to control a pet store and “discover magical moments of delight as they build relationships with their pets.” Also, Nerf N-Strike blends a blaster game with Nerf toys for a shooting game available in single and multi-player modes.
The big news from this announcement, though, will likely perk the ears of the many Scrabulous players enjoying the free game on Facebook. Because Hasbro is making a push to bring content to online and mobile technologies, it obviously won’t tolerate any form of copyright infringement that would possibly wrangle revenue from its coffers. Hasbro, it seems, would rather strike a deal with Electronic Arts than Facebook, which hasn’t yet pulled Scrabulous from its site. There are nearly 600,000 daily active users of Scrabulous on Facebook.
It will be interesting to see where Hasbro goes with this next-gen evolution. What other nostalgic board games will start appearing on cellphones or the Wii? How will Hasbro react to third-party developers who may want to bring Risk to Facebook, for example?
Watching Hasbro work with Electronic Arts is seeing how old-school media can find a future with new media, and why any partnership has the potential to change how we play our favourite games.
Someone at Hasbro is finally paying attention to the writing on the wall: Evolve or die. Triple word score Hasbro.
More about Scrabulous, Hasbro, Electronic arts, Scrabble
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