If your friends can't come over for a game of Scrabble, how about playing via e-mail? Hasbro Interactive, the Beverly, Mass.-based digital arm of the toy company, will launch the Scrabble Email Game with a real-world promotion, Email Games Day, this Friday, Feb. 5.
To play, one person needs to have the game on CD-ROM, which they can share with as many other people as desired. That person launches the application and makes the first move; then the application e-mails the game as an attachment, along with a link to a downloadable version on the Hasbro Interactive Web site.
Email Games Day calls for Hasbro to distribute more than 100,000 free copies of the Scrabble Email CD-ROM (which will retail for about $15) in New York City at heavily trafficked locations such as Times Square. "The premise," said Gale Steiner, director of marketing, "is, every person who gets the free game can initiate as many games as they want with their friends. Once the recipient has a good experience with e-mail games, they're going to want to go out and buy their own." The Scrabble promotion sets the stage for the launch of 11 other e-mail games that will be released later this year, including Battleship and Grand Master Chess.
"It's a great idea," said Garth Chouteau, director of communications for online gaming site Total Entertainment Network (TEN), San Francisco, which has distributed games through the Excite portal. "It's a tried and true concept that works at the most fundamental level of the Internet."--Susan Kuchinskas