Scrabble fans slam ‘sparkly abomination’ new app
Scrabble Go, a new game that will replace the current official Scrabble mobile app made by Electronic Arts (EA) has raised hundreds of complaints.
Its bright colors, treasure-style rewards, and in-app purchase model have angered longtime gamers.
The EA game will be suspended on June 5 because the official franchise is now owned by the game company Scopely.
Scrabble Go was launched on March 5th and had been downloaded more than 10 million times by the end of April.
At the time, there were 2.5 million players per day, who spent an average of 100 minutes playing, Reuters reported.
It has a four-star rating on the Google Play store, but also hundreds of recent negative comments, many complaining that the design is too distracted.
A digital petition on the Change.org website asking EA to run the original app has nearly 1,200 signatures.
“I don’t want jewelry, cartoons or potential dates. I want to play Scrabble against my friends and family. Here. Nothing else,” wrote a petitioner.
“They turned it into a glittering Candy Crush abomination,” Ian Pym of Fareham, Hampshire told BBC. “I challenge any adult to play for more than 10 minutes and I don’t feel physically bad.”
Ian’s mother, Christiane, 78, is an avid Scrabble player and has recorded 21,000 games on the EA app.
“It’s not even worth sharing Scrabble Go with my mom – it would be totally confusing,” she said.
Ms. Pym said she played the EA game for relaxation.
“When I heard that they would quit, I thought it was the end of my life, it’s so relaxing for me,” he said.
“I think it will be a shame for many people, especially those who are alone.”
There are alternative apps to the official game such as Words with Friends and Wordmaster, which have rules similar to the traditional ones of Scrabble, but are not licensed by the owners.
The BBC contacted Scopely, but was referred to its customer support team, who said, “The players’ point of view is always important, which is why any suggestions or feedback will be more than welcome.”
EA released a statement in March explaining his plan to stop his version of the game, which had been licensed by the owners of Scrabble Hasbro and Mattel since 2008.
“Our games have created a passionate community and we want to thank you for playing for so many years,” said the game giant.
EA players will not be able to migrate their profiles and data to Scrabble Go, but will be able to connect with friends.