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New official Scrabble app slammed for being 'tacky' and ads-heavy

Scrabble Go
(Image credit: Scopely)

New official Scrabble app Scrabble Go isn’t going down well with mobile fans after it replaced the existing official Scrabble app, prompting a storm of protest from fans of the game. 

Despite being downloaded more than 10 million times since it launched on March 5, the new app, made by games company Scopely, which owns the Scrabble franchise, has garnered hundreds of complaints from users who dislike its in-app purchase model, overly vivid colors and treasure-style reward system. 

Scrabble fans are so perturbed by the new game that they’ve even launched a digital petition on the website Change.org calling for Electronic Arts (EA) to keep the original app, which at the time of writing had amassed more than 1,400 signatures.

The EA version of the popular board game will be discontinued on June 5, as the official Scrabble franchise is now owned by Scopely – so it's hard to see how EA could continue to offer its app even if it wanted to.

It’s no longer available to download, but EA says you can still play it until June 5 if you already have the app installed. 

Angry letters

Scrabble Go currently has a 4.3 star rating on the Google Play store, but there are a countless complaints relating to the game’s tacky and distracting appearance, along with the apparent influx of pesky adverts.

One reviewer wrote, “Love the game, hate everything else”, while another said “At first very few ads. Now ads after almost every play”. A quick glance at the comment section on the digital petition, titled ‘Keep EA Scrabble alive’, tells a similar story. Zoe describes Scrabble Go as “abhorrent – tasteless, gimmicky, expensive, blingy and glitzy”. Ouch.

Back in March, EA released a statement which explained its plan to discontinue its clearly beloved version of Scrabble, which has been around since 2008.

“For over a decade, EA, Hasbro and Mattel have partnered to bring a fun and rewarding digital Scrabble experience to players around the world, and now that partnership is coming to an end,” said EA. “Our games have built a passionate community and we want to thank you all for playing with us for so many years.”

It turns out that the mobile Scrabble community is a lot more passionate than anyone previously thought, and they're probably playing the game now more than ever as lockdown measures continue to impede upon everyday life. 

We’ve contacted Scopely for comment and will update this article when we hear more.

Via BBC News