After entertaining millions of users and wasting a countless number of office worker man-hours, the ultra-popular Facebook app Scrabulous looks to be nearing the end of its run on Facebook. Hasbro has filed suit against the developers, claiming that the game infringes on its Scrabble intellectual property. Earlier this month, Hasbro launched its own version of Scrabble on Facebook in partnership with Electronic Arts.
y today, many sources have already commented on E3's lost edge. What used to be the Mecca of game conferences was a disappointment, with many publishers pulling from the ESA and with it, its participation with the event -- but most of all, there were underwhelming announcements from the big consoles. However, I think those announcements reveal a great deal about the larger strategies of Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft, and are instructive examples of how even the industry leaders are navigating blindly in dangerous waters.
The latest virtual world news that's been buzzing around the Web this week is a post on the Google Blog announcing the launch of Google's "Lively," a Web-based "3D virtual experience" that allows anyone to create a miniature virtual world, design it, fill it with 3D objects, and embed them on their blog or Web site, allowing visitors to interact via avatar with one another in a virtual environment.
EA's "The Sims 2" has created some very neat branding opportunities. About a year ago, EA released a "stuff pack" -- a collection of items that can be imported into the game -- that were modeled and branded after clothing retailer H&M . Just this past week, EA released another stuff pack for Ikea, the well-known Swedish furniture company (the one with the meatballs).