GAMING BLEND

EA's Scrabble Gets Lambasted By Users; New Updates On The Horizon

By William Usher 2012-09-10 20:43:48 discussion comments
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Back in July we reported on the rising angst among gamers who played EA and Hasbro's Scrabble via Facebook and on their mobile phones. The issues with the game concerned things such as long load times, cluttered screen space (even for the paid version) and poor feature implementation. Well, a rep for EA says that they have heard the complaints and will be fixing the issues.

We were originally contacted by a group of Scrabble players frustrated with the way EA has been handling the casual pastime game and how poorly the game has been progressing with each update. It started when the original board was replaced with a newer board, the screen space for playing shrunk to make room for more social interactivity and the feature to nudge/forfeit a match made playing some games cumbersome and long.

According to one Scrabble player we chatted up regarding the updates, he states...
The updates are appalling and an absolute smack in the face. Users wanted the old board back that wasn't cluttered and ridiculous looking, and EA kept all the ridiculousness and just gave you the option of choosing which color board you want to use. All the same issues still exist. Facebook continues to delete protest pages. The new board option is another horrible PR spin by a company that doesn't know anything about PR.

As for myself, I have completely moved on. I played Scrabble every day for nearly two years, so initially I was upset that a game I enjoyed so much was taken away. But now I've shifted my focus to other things.

Other users recounted similar horror stories when trying to play Scrabble, usually citing the game's intrusion of ads and the clutter still being a problem, even though some issues have been resolved such as the load times and streamlined process of playing the game.

Scrabble has received minor one-star review bombing on the official app page from a few unhappy players who reiterated a lot of the problems mentioned above. One of the user reviews holds nothing back – regarding the latest update that went live in August – saying...
Bottom line: It's given to us as an upgrade, but I consider it a downgrade.

Thankfully, I upgraded on my iPhone only: I could delete the game directly on the iPhone and then re-synchronize the old version from iTunes again.

The issues haven't gone unheard, though. EA was quick to respond to the original article back in July that detailed a lot of angry complaints from Scrabble users. They were more than willing to address complaints before we ran this article, with EA representative Alexis McDowel saying...
Yes, we are aware of those issues and they will be fixed over the next couple of content updates, which should roll out in the next few months.

So there you have it, folks. You'll see some updates, upgrades and fixes in additional patches planned to release over the course of the next few months.

I imagine there's a huge balancing act between trying to please the higher ups behind the desk and trying to implement changes that better reflect positive player feedback.

Is it possible EA could pull a Valve and just say...”Oh hai guys, here's an ad-free, clutter-free, player-focused feature set without all the noise. Enjoy!!!” I doubt it.

Hopefully the updates rolled out over the next couple of months will address the player concerns so that gamers can get back to what they enjoy most about the interactive entertainment industry: having fun.
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