It appears as though Mattel has given up on its battle against the popular Facebook application, Scrabulous. According to a New York Times article yesterday, RealNetworks has launched a branded version of Scrabble on Facebook. The only problem? People in the U.S. can’t use the application since their copyright only exists outside of the States.
Unless RealNetworks is pouring significant resources into this application it will be challenging for them to build a substantial user base. While it appears that the company invested in an initial user acquisition they may not have invested significant enough resources. Currently Scrabulous has over 600,000 active daily users whereas the branded version of Scrabble has less than 2,000 active daily users.
It will be a while before Scrabble has any hopes of catching up. Mattel would have to invest at least $100,000 if they want to attract a large enough user base to become a substantial competitor to Scrabulous. In the meantime, the ScrabbleÂ® application will have to attract new users through viral means. It will be interesting to see how this battle plays out.