7,000 users per day. A far cry from Scrabulous' 600,000, but certainly significant enough to warrant Hasbro's attention. After receiving the takedown order, Bogglific creator Roger Nesbitt announced his plans to shelve the game. "I'm no lawyer," he wrote. "But I have neither the time nor the money to fight this, and Facebook has given me a grace period of 48 hours to shut the application down voluntarily."At the same time as Hasbro/Mattel's well-publicized take down order of the uber-popular Facebook game Scrabulous (which is based on their Scrabble board game), they were also going after a far smaller app called "Bogglific." Bogglific, an online clone of Hasbro's Boggle game, was at the time played by over
But a week after Bogglific was removed from Facebook, the application is back, sporting a new name, and some basic rule changes.
Bogglific has become Prolific. It's still a Boggle clone, but it might be changed enough rule and gameplay wise to avoid litigation. The major changes in Prolific are the scoring system, which changes the point values assigned to words and how to deal with duplicates, and the board, which receives a "bonus" square, whose use means extra points. Otherwise, the game remains more or less the same as Boggle.
Like Nesbitt, I too am no lawyer, so I am not sure his minor changes to the Boggle gameboard and scoring system will keep the game out of trouble with Hasbro -- who have deep pockets and who in the past week have demonstrated they are very protective of their intellectual property.
Compared to Yahoo!'s Literati, which is another variant of a popular Hasbro game (in this case, Scrabble), the changes aren't quite as dramatic. Literati changed the tile distribution, letter point values, and the game board itself, while Prolific's changes are fairly minor. (Yahoo! also sells an officially licensed version of Scrabble, which can't hurt.)
Regardless, though, the relaunch of Prolific should make the game's fans happy for as long as it lasts. The gameplay mechanics haven't been changed enough (or much at all) to alter the enjoyment of the game for most fans. Therein lies the potential problem with Hasbro, but for now, Boggle fans on Facebook have a place to play again.
Scrabulous, meanwhile, remains online and unchanged. No licensing deal has been reached, to our knowledge, and Facebook has yet to pull the plug from their end.