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Scopely lands a triple-word score with launch of new Scrabble game

Jonathan Shieber

Los Angeles-based mobile gaming company Scopely​ unveiled its newest game, Scrabble GO, now available for pre-order on Android and coming to iOS later this year.

Working with Hasbro in North America and Mattel globally, the launch of Scopely's new Scrabble game was two years in the making.

Building on the success Scopely has found with another Hasbro property -- Yahtzee -- Scopely first reached out to the gaming company to see if they'd be open to working with the relatively young gaming firm on a new title.

Then Scopely had to talk to Mattel and current rights-holder Electronic Arts about moving players of the game over to Scrabble's new home.

Under the auspices of Electronic Arts, which had developed the earlier versions of Scrabble for mobile phones, hundreds of thousands of users had signed up to play the popular word game.

"We negotiated a deal and a partnership with EA," says Scopely chief revenue officer, Tim O'Brien. "We wanted the players in the core scrabble game that EA has today and come over."

The deal represents a new relationship between Scopely and Mattel and reflects the game development studio's increasingly international footprint.

“We are always looking for new ways for consumers to experience the Mattel brands they know and love, and digital gaming is a key part of that strategy,” said ​Janet Hsu​, chief franchise officer at Mattel. “Scrabble is a beloved and iconic game with a dedicated fan following. In partnership with Scopely, we look forward to bringing a best-in-class gameplay experience to an international audience.”  

Players from the previous versions of Scrabble for mobile will be able to move over to Scopely's new gaming platform through the partnership with Electronic Arts -- and global players can expect to see some expanded features, according to O'Brien.

The new version will include official dictionaries in localized languages that Scopely has licensed and will be incorporating into the gameplay, he said. The new game will also have new social features, including regional tournaments, daily and weekly events and player leaderboards. There's also a matchmaking system to connect with both friends and other players on the platform of a similar skill-level. A new "dueling" feature puts time limits on how long a player can take to make a word.

"We want to build core Scrabble, but we need to build Scrabble for today’s market," says O'Brien. "We did something that worked really well with Yahtzee… and we make substantially more money on the mobile game then they do on the board game." 

The LA-based gaming company has been on a bit of an acquisition tear since raising $200 million financing, which values the company at a whopping $1.7 billion.

Published globally by Scopely, the new Scrabble GO game was developed in partnership with PierPlay game studio and joins a gaming portfolio that has amassed more than $1 billion in lifetime revenue. Games in the company’s portfolio include: Looney Tunes World of Mayhem and Star Trek Fleet Command, created with the recently acquired DIGIT Game Studios.