New Scrabble app sparks outrage – and hasty redesign

Alongside the likes of Grand Theft Auto and Call of Duty, Scrabble might not seem like the most dramatic game around. But when it comes to their beloved board game, Scrabble fans are not to be messed with – as one mobile game publisher has found out the hard way. 

Mobile app Scrabble Go was only released in March, but its owner Scopely has already been forced back to the drawing board after fans complained about its flashy and fussy design (that's not how you enter our best iPhone apps list), complete with vivid colours and a treasure-style reward system. Scopely has now announced that these extra features have been toned down in a new Classic mode. 

Scrabble Go

Scrabble Go has not been a hit with traditionalist fans (Image credit: Scopely)

The war of words began when Scrabble Go was announced as a replacement for the previous, much more traditional app, owned by EA. In a statement on Twitter (below), EA revealed that its own beloved app will be discontinued on 5 June, as Scopely now owns the Scrabble franchise.

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Along with countless negative app store reviews, at the heart of fans' assault on Scrabble Go is a petition to keep the EA version alive. "I want to play traditional Scrabble, please," one supporter complained, "I don't want silly graphics and things popping up all over the place." "Scrabble GO has the correct name," said another. "You install it, see that it is junk, and then you GO and uninstall it." Ouch.

While fans will be sad to note that the EA version has now disappeared from app stores, they can at least take some solace from the fact that Scopely has heard their complaints. "You asked and we listened!" Scopely announced on Facebook. "We’re introducing a “Scrabble Go Classic” option that puts Classic Mode at the forefront." In this mode, features such as boosts and rewards are disabled.

We're pleased to see Scopely cater for traditionalist fans as well as those who prefer, er, lots of flashing things. As board game designs go, Scrabble is as iconic as it gets, and the busy UI of Scrabble Go is a far cry from the minimalism of of its namesake. Hopefully Classic mode go some way to placate fans who want more Scrabble and less 'Go'.

It doesn't look like Scopely has too much to complain about – according to BBC, Scrabble Go has been downloaded over 10 million times since launching in March. Still, there's no denying that board game fans are a force to be reckoned with – a beautifully minimal UNO concept recently became a reality, thanks (again) to a fan petition. 

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Daniel Piper
Senior News Editor

Daniel Piper is Creative Bloq’s Senior News Editor. As the brand’s Apple authority, he covers all things Mac, iPhone, iPad and the rest. He also reports on the worlds of design, branding and tech. Daniel joined Future in 2020 (an eventful year, to say the least) after working in copywriting and digital marketing with brands including ITV, NBC, Channel 4 and more. Outside of Future, Daniel is a global poetry slam champion and has performed at festivals including Latitude, Bestival and more. He is the author of Arbitrary and Unnecessary: The Selected Works of Daniel Piper (Selected by Daniel Piper).