Facebook now has vaporware. After a lot of huffing and puffing at the beginning of the year, Hasbro and Electronic Arts are finally getting ready to unveil their official version of Scrabble on Facebook. Today, they announced that the Facebook app EA has been working on for more than six months will be launched later this month, although a version on Pogo (EA’s online casual gaming site) is available today.
There is a Facebook Scrabble app in private beta (see screen shot at left), but the company is still testing it. It is not clear what is taking EA so long. After all, this is just a Facebook app, not a fully-featured video game like Spore.
It is also not clear what will happen to Scrabulous, the unofficial version of Scrabble that has become one of the most popular apps on Facebook. Scrabulous, which was developed by two brothers in India, was almost shut down earlier this year because Hasbro claims that it infringes on its trademarks. Scrabulous was in acquisition talks with many different companies, including Electronic Arts (which has the domestic license to digital versions of the game) and Real Networks (which has the international digital rights), but everyone balked on price.

Rather than force Facebook to shut down Scrabulous immediately, however, Hasbro and Electronic Arts realized that they would suffer an extreme backlash if they took away everyone’s favorite Facebook game without offering up an alternative. Now that the alternative is almost here, it remains to be seen whether they will ...

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