Knowledge@wharton: “War of the Words: Scrabulous is off Facebook, but did hasbro Win the Game?

On the corporate side, the issue is less about money than copyright infringement and brand control. Wharton faculty note, however, that Hasbro may be doing more harm than good to its brand by going after Scrabulous. It not only risks alienating existing Scrabulous users, they say, but also misses the opportunity to capitalize on Scrabulous’s success in the difficult-to-harness social networking world.
Peter Fader, co-director of the Wharton Interactive Media Initiative, believes Hasbro’s action is an “incredibly bad business decision.” There is no evidence the Agarwalla brothers were doing “something absolutely disparaging” to the Scrabble brand, he says. In fact, Scrabulous “has been such a fabulously good thing for the Scrabble franchise [that] Hasbro should have been celebrating.”