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EA Takes Over Scrabble App, Wipes Player Histories and Switches Dictionary 197

Posted by Soulskill
from the you're-welcome dept.
New submitter DeathToBill writes "EA is in the midst of another user backlash, the BBC reports. After EA took over operation of the online Scrabble brand, it introduced a 'new and improved' version. Improvements include requiring manual refreshes to see other players' turns, irretrievably wiping players' game history and a switch to the Collins dictionary (rather than the traditional Chambers edition) that has proved deeply unpopular with Scrabble fanatics. "EA was unavailable for comment.""
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EA Takes Over Scrabble App, Wipes Player Histories and Switches Dictionary

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  • by jedidiah (1196) on Friday June 14, 2013 @03:14PM (#44010099) Homepage

    This seems like the perfect use case for side loading. Avoid whatever misbegotten version EA has managed to put in the official "app store" and install some illicit clone.

    It's sad when an official release has you reaching for the equivalent of "Hack Man".

    • by wbr1 (2538558)
      It is an -online- game. You play with others. Your sideloaded older version won't authenticate with the servers. This in itself is a good thing, to prevent older exploited code form communication, and to make sure clients are using the same basic resources and interfaces to any underlying APIs.
      • And the biggest problem players are having is that the Leader Boards and all scores in general have been wiped. Even if the playerbase somehow convinced EA to use the old code, their playing histories have been wiped.

        If I was playing it, it would be a perfect escape opportunity, since most Facebook games heavily leverage the whole Stockholm Syndrome thing with their player base.

      • by girlintraining (1395911) on Friday June 14, 2013 @10:15PM (#44012983)

        This in itself is a good thing, to prevent older exploited code form communication, and to make sure clients are using the same basic resources and interfaces to any underlying APIs.

        Yeah, because we all know there's big money to be made in hackers exploiting buffer overflows in a scrabble client. Besides, 'powned' is only worth 12 points. I'm not writing an exploit for 12 stupid points.

    • by headwes (728006)
      Or you could just download Wordfeud.
    • Side-loading won't do squat for a multi-player game with a server-side controlled by the new owner.

      Just go to any of the app stores, there are plenty of Scrabble clones. Hasbro Inc. doesn't really own the concept of Scrabble, just the trademark. I assume this is probably because the concept most likely predates Hasbro's version of the game (otherwise, Hasbro would have fought to remove all the Scrabble-like games from all the app stores, or the ones that looked like theirs, and as it stands they didn't)

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 14, 2013 @03:15PM (#44010101)

    Terrible company.

  • Keep digging that hole you're in even deeper.

    • by grasshoppa (657393) <`gro.oc-onpt' `ta' `ydenneks'> on Friday June 14, 2013 @03:24PM (#44010207) Homepage

      What hole? Users still line up to buy their shit. EA execs know gamers will continue to fork over the cash for shit. As a gamer myself, I can't help but marvel at the stupidity that requires.

      Watch; EA has control of star wars. I guarantee they pull the same shit with forthcoming SW games, and they'll make a mint regardless of the quality of the game itself, nor how the company chooses to abuse the consumer this time around. Oh, we'll all whine, bitch and moan. Then we'll turn around and buy the DLC and expansions.

      • Re:That's Right EA. (Score:5, Interesting)

        by amiga3D (567632) on Friday June 14, 2013 @03:41PM (#44010379)

        I think sometimes that people like getting screwed by the companies they do business with. It is some kind of perverse relationship. You give them money and they fuck you. It's been doing well for them. I bought a game from them back in the Commodore 64 days. For 39.95 I got a game that took about 5 and a half minutes to load and hammered my C1541 disk drive into misalignment with the added bonus it got so hot I could use it to boil water as well. Me being the type that holds a grudge I pirated EA games from that point on. Besides the obvious monetary savings I got games that loaded in about 20-30 seconds and my disk drive stayed in alignment. Win-Win!

      • by tepples (727027) <tepples&gmail,com> on Friday June 14, 2013 @04:02PM (#44010627) Homepage Journal

        Users still line up to buy their shit.

        They have no choice. With EA owning exclusive rights to the National Football League, Arena Football, NCAA, and even FIFA, what league is a competing developer of football video games supposed to use? Fictional leagues don't work so well because the majority of people buy the game to play as a particular team.

        • by Grishnakh (216268)

          So what? No one needs to play a football game, much less one with particular real-life teams hardcoded in rather than fictional teams.

          If people think they absolutely need such a game that much, then they're a fool and they deserve to be separated from their money. I have zero sympathy.

        • by sjames (1099)

          When I was growing up, the 'teams' were just little LEDs and we *LIKED* it that way. Now get off my lawn!

        • by Clsid (564627)

          I think playing something like PES is completely enjoyable. Maybe NHL is a different story. But if you truly cannot live without playing with a fictional team, I suggest you only buy one of those every other year. But really, you should just avoid their products in the long run, lack of money it's the only thing that will make them change.

      • Re:That's Right EA. (Score:5, Interesting)

        by peragrin (659227) on Friday June 14, 2013 @05:20PM (#44011397)

        5 days ago the BBC had this article
        http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-22801311 [bbc.co.uk]

        i think this situation with Scrabble explains why EA will never stop being hated.

        Just how poorly must your company be run if you fuck up scrabble, that you bought. EA Purchased scrabble from Mattel, Mattel ran it successively for many many years. Just moving it over to EA's servers completely destroyed everything.

        EA will always be hated. And Scrabble shows us why

        • by Dogtanian (588974)

          Just how poorly must your company be run if you fuck up scrabble, that you bought.

          Traditionally, the problem with computer versions of games like Scrabble is that companies had to find an excuse to sell new versions of the same concept every year (or whenever). This seems to have been the case with the PC versions of scrabble. Which generally resulted in contrived and pointless secondary features, or worse, their messing around with the basic game itself (and just as likely screwing it up). For example, the countless stupid variants of Tetris (like Tetris Worlds [amazon.co.uk]) even though the original

      • by Clsid (564627)

        Sorry, in my case I refuse to buy any more games from them. I do want to play Mass Effect 3 and the new Battlefield when it comes out, but I can live without it just fine. And it's not so much that the games are bad quality as it was the case of SimCity and others, but more that what they did with Battlefield 3 where they charged premium for a game, only to act as if the game was a freemium game afterwards is totally unacceptable to me.

        Besides, it's not like there aren't competing titles anyway, and nowaday

  • Feeding the Beast (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Major Ralph (2711189) on Friday June 14, 2013 @03:19PM (#44010147)
    The problem with EA is that they have shitty customer relations/service, and are incredibly greedy. So people get all pissed off and swear they'll never buy another game published by EA ever again. But we forget that EA owns a lot of really great developers that make some kickass games (Anyone excited for the new Battlefront?). So we end up buying the awesome games and just feed the beast a little more.
    • Re:Feeding the Beast (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Dan93 (222999) <danielonolanNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Friday June 14, 2013 @03:55PM (#44010567)
      They own a lot of brands that USED to be great before EA bought them, and ran them into the ground. Before EA bought Bioware, I used to buy Bioware's games without knowing much about them because Bioware always made outstanding games. Since EA bought them, the quality of those games has went down the toilet, and I honestly doubt I'll buy the next dragon age game that comes out simply because DA 2 was complete shit. Honestly, it was the same with the Mass Effect games. Same with Maxis, and a dozen other brands.
      • by jandrese (485)
        Yep, I was glad that the last Mass Effect was the final game of the trilogy, because now I don't have to buy it again. Also, the game was such a disaster (IMHO) that it pretty much ruined the franchise for me anyway. I mean the books were horrible too, but they were tertiary, you could ignore them pretty easily. Having the final game suck harder than Phantom Menace was inexcusable.
        • by Algae_94 (2017070)
          I'm really curious though, if there was a Mass Effect 4, would you "have" to buy it? That's really what they live on, getting people sucked in and shoveling shit their way.
    • by peragrin (659227)

      I won't knowing buy a game from EA.

      However EA doesn't always advertise it's brand boldly. some times it is a tiny logo on the back of the box, and you don't see the bold EA logo until you boot it up for the first time.

    • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

      In this case they bought it when it wasn't owned by EA. I think there is a fair chance many of them won't buy another EA game now.

  • by nimbius (983462) on Friday June 14, 2013 @03:30PM (#44010259) Homepage
    after the latest SimCity i was afraid i might never see EA release another title again. However with this latest acquisition i can see EA is still dedicated to the tradition of alienating consumers, infuriating players, and pedaling the franchise ever further into the dirt. A worry had crossed my mind that perhaps they might suddenly change direction, or maybe continue the sincere course the original developers had maintained for so long in order to foster a thriving online gaming community. Yet once i heard "EA was unavailable for comment," I signed in relief and smiled to myself, knowing somewhere, somehow, John Riccitiello's biggest care in the world was trying to find a port of call that not only offered both legitimate cuban cigars as well as fine vintage scotch, but could also fit the likes of his superyacht in on short-notice. Carry on you brave pioneer of the digital age.
    • With the new Xbox, Microsoft seems to be trying really hard to compete with EA for the top spot of alienating their customers

    • by peragrin (659227)

      what is better is that 4 days ago at E3 EA president said he wanted EA to stop being hated .

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-22801311 [bbc.co.uk]

      EA took a working piece of software and FUBAR'd it so badly that it is essentially non functional. And they did it with a simple game like scrabble.

      • what is better is that 4 days ago at E3 EA president said he wanted EA to stop being hated.

        And I want to lose 10 pounds. Yeah, I'm eating all that desert with soda, but I still want to lose that weight - if it somehow is gone, I'll be happy.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 14, 2013 @03:38PM (#44010345)

    Along with my paper dictionary.

    EA and the NSA continue to demonstrate that the digital world is too fragile for society to rely on.

  • All 70-somethings whose children gave them IPads for christmas must be really upset!

  • by houbou (1097327) on Friday June 14, 2013 @03:54PM (#44010559) Journal
    Wordsmith.. My personal favorite anyways.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    In the US, EA has been the Scrabble app provider for some time, and nothing has changed.

    It's outside the US that this impacts people. Presumably the wiping of histories is due to a lack of agreement between parties.

  • EA don't get into the pinball market you just F* it up and your 80 hour work weeks will just take the devs and coders time away so they can't show up and play at local arcades.

  • by fafalone (633739) on Friday June 14, 2013 @05:04PM (#44011241)
    This is about the Facebook version. The Android version, already run by EA, has neither changed dictionaries nor dropped scores and ratings (I just logged in to check).

    Also, I'm a bit confused about the dictionaries. Isn't the Collins/Chambers list for international play? Doesn't the US version still use OWL2+Long Words from NASPA? Or is there only 1 version? I don't play on FB, and TFA doesn't clarify.
    • by gl4ss (559668)

      umm wtf so the words you can use are different form the version they publish on facebook and the version they publish on android? don't they have anyone overseeing it as a whole beyond the numbers?

  • This is about the Facebook version. The Android version, already run by EA, has neither changed dictionaries nor dropped scores and ratings (I just logged in to check). Also, I'm a bit confused about the dictionaries. Isn't the Collins/Chambers list for international play? Doesn't the US version still use OWL2+Long Words from NASPA? Or is there only 1 version? I don't play on FB, and TFA doesn't clarify.
  • .... line up all the players and kick them in the nuts, one by one. So be glad.

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