Scrabble app changes anger players on Facebook

Scrabble app The game has attracted more than 3.6m "likes" on Facebook since it originally launched.

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Thousands of players have taken to Facebook to complain about changes made to a popular mobile Scrabble app.

The changes have been made by Electronic Arts (EA), which took over the running of the app from Scrabble brand owner Mattel at the end of May.

Players are angry that their player histories have been wiped, the dictionary has changed and the board no longer refreshes itself after a turn.

Mattel apologised but added that the update had also attracted new players.

The firm said new features included the ability to play the game in six languages, customise the board, and pay for an ad-free version.

The game also uses the Collins dictionary rather than the traditional Chambers edition.

The app's official page on Facebook has more than 3.6m "likes" but most of these were amassed before the update and almost all of the recent comments are from players asking for the old version to be returned.

A Facebook group set up by players called "please bring back the Scrabble we love" has more than 2,000 members.

Lost history

"Who wants to play it in six languages?" player Helen Hawkins, from Kent, asked the BBC.

"I've been playing for over four years, I had 5,000 games on my statistics, I'd won 71% of them, I had my best scores recorded - and now it's all lost."

Mattel confirmed that players' previous data could not be restored.

"As part of the transition [to EA Mobile], we were unable to carry over ongoing games and statistics, the timer mode and the manual match-making function. The new version will have the same robust statistics moving forward," it said in a statement.

Ms Hawkins said the ability to play quick games, in which each player had to make a move within two or five minutes, had also been lost in the upgrade, and that people who played regularly together but were not Facebook friends could no longer contact each other.

"I haven't played it since the upgrade," she said.

"A lot of people have stopped, the new version is just hopeless. You have to refresh the board every time you play, it's hopeless compared with the old version."

A spokeswoman for Mattel told the BBC the firm was sorry for any upset caused.

"We are sorry we weren't able to please everybody," she said.

"The number of people playing has also increased significantly since the update.

"We produce the board game but we're not experts in electronics."

EA was unavailable for comment.


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  • rate this

    Comment number 88.

    I played for 4-5yrs had played people from all over the world, as well as regularly with my mum and partner, it was a great way to unwind and thoroughly enjoyed it. The new version has nothing to offer other than a childish look and is disappointing. They could have kept the old version and run the 'improved' version alongside. Miss it terribly, but cannot play on the new one.

  • rate this

    Comment number 87.

    Everybody hates EA. You have to hate EA. I hated them ever since they flagrantly copied Pro Evolution Soccer. Try Words with Friends!!

  • rate this

    Comment number 86.

    EA Games have done it again. I bought this app before the changes and loved it. Now EA have bast**dised it and ruined a perfectly good app. The saying "if it ain't broken it don't need fixing" comes into its own here. Please EA change it back!

  • Comment number 85.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this

    Comment number 84.

    Maybe it is not the biggest thing to worry about on this planet at he moment.

    I use the EA Scrabble App on my Ipad - the upgrade is horrible so I don't use it any more.

    One less thing I can do on my Ipad - that leaves err not may things at all.

  • rate this

    Comment number 83.

    Not only is the layout of the new "improved" version a poor substitute for the original the actual game itself is deeply flawed. It claims Collins as its "partner" but it introduces words not recognised by Collins Online or any other dictionary including the Oxford English, whilst rejecting perfectly ordinary and accepted words such as ZEN and FENIAN, an altogether frustrating experience.

  • rate this

    Comment number 82.

    To all those of you that mock.
    Imagine opening up the BBC news website to find it has been taken over by The Sun. Without telling you.
    Would you mind? Or would you think it's OK, you can just go and buy a newspaper instead?

  • rate this

    Comment number 81.

    Not content with being voted "worst company in America", EA aims for worldwide recognition.

  • rate this

    Comment number 80.

    For those that need their scores retrieved, why not ask the NSA, I'm sure they've got them on a server somewhere....

  • rate this

    Comment number 79.

    As poor as the implementation is, it's a massive improvement over the previous one because they've got rid of Adobe Flash! My 5 year old laptop no longer over heats after a few minutes.

    It would be nice if the game detected the web browser's language, rather than default to the crappy American TWL word list. It would also be nice if gave the definition of words, not just confirm their validity.

  • rate this

    Comment number 78.

    I can empathise with these people - radical changes to games are really infuriating, in cases that involve such a major shift of rules then a vote should be taken at the least, better still a different game running alongside the original version would afford people to choose and I expect it would open a new challenge to players of the original version.
    As for losing the data; that is unforgivable.

  • rate this

    Comment number 77.

    Ooh lordy, scrabble's so hard.

  • rate this

    Comment number 76.

    My wife is livid and making my life unbearable. Please EA consider 2 versions of the game so I can once again have peace in my house. You're certainly done a grand job of destroying your already tainted reputation.
    No it's not a global issue on the world stage but was far better than many mindless games available.

  • rate this

    Comment number 75.

    "heres a tip for everyone angered by this appalling world changing change. dont play it, give your heads a shake and get some perspective on life"

    Here's a tip. Some people benefit from participating in word games. It can bring about improvements in one's spelling and grammar.

  • rate this

    Comment number 74.

    This is the worst "upgrade" I've ever experienced on any format. Upgrades are supposed to make things better. This one makes things worse. Functionality has been LOST! Bring back the old Scrabble, please!!

  • rate this

    Comment number 73.

    Oh nooo, someone's stats went missing BOO HOO
    Get over it, it's a game on a stupid website.
    Go outside and get some fresh rain.

  • rate this

    Comment number 72.

    Welcome Everyone to the wonderful world of EA - Electronic Arts are the worlds worst rated games publisher - they have ruined many many games and series - this is just another one to add to the list to the worlds worst rated company! making users hate them with a passion for over 30 years!

  • rate this

    Comment number 71.

    @65: Pirate99:
    Haven't you considered that some news stories are so incendiary, that the BBC don't trust some commenters not to write outlandish and dangerous posts. I guess it is "Act like children, be treated like children"?

  • rate this

    Comment number 70.

    You aren't being intentionally ironic, are you?
    Something like that yes...two birds with one stone...hold on...I am mixing metaphors now......

  • rate this

    Comment number 69.


    Apparently so.

    And for a "U" you'll get 1 point, a "S" another point and an "A"...


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