September 22, 2014
DALLAS, TX — In an exciting new development, the Colonial SCRABBLE® Players Association (CSPA) has released an update to their tournament rulebook providing for royalty micro-payments to Hasbro (NASDAQ: HAS) for every word played in a sanctioned tournament. The funds would transfer automatically from accounts set up by each player, backed by a credit card provided at time of registration.
In CSPA’s announcement, Executive President For Life Jeanette Madison wrote, “In our ongoing effort to serve members, CSPA has deepened and hardened our mutually beneficial and completely unantagonistic relationship with Hasbro. Just the fact that Hasbro is showing an interest in such things as ‘words’ is an indication of SCRABBLE®’s rising stock in the toy industry.”
CSPA Co-Executive President Rod Molma, reached on vacation in Bora Bora, explained:
One of Hasbro’s not insignificant business activities is the monetization of the SCRABBLE® brand in North America. In order to do so, it sells licences for specific uses of the brand. One such licence is currently owned by Merriam-Webster, for the word list and the dictionary. The value of the licence in turn depends on how well the licensee is able to monetize it. If Hasbro permits people to obtain for free a word that it is trying to sell a licence for, it will reduce the value of the licence, due to supply and demand.
Players around the US and Canada are thrilled. “This will really raise the profile of SCRABBLE® in the colonies,” said Browne Knowles, of Ontario, Ontario. “We’ve struggled a bit, as you may know, since we only play with half the words. I don’t think they can call us SCRABBLE®-Lite any more, now that each game is going to be worth real money!”
Former elite player and professional gambler Jeremy Saga of Phoenix, AZ, said the change might bring him back to the game. “Paying per word raises some intriguing scenarios. Will you pay for phonies? What if you’re playing someone known to be cash-poor? You could bluff with openings that they couldn’t afford to capitalize on.”
Zinca Loy of Rose Park, Alberta, agreed, “Some people may not like it — who wants more expenses? — but they should really question their loyalty to the game and its owners. I mean, asking to play words for free is basically the same as asking S&P 500 executives and shareholders to beg on street corners. Hasbro people have to eat, too!”
Monetization Czar Seymour Butts, reached at his office in Hasbro headquarters, confirmed the news and hinted broadly at more changes to come. “We’re looking of course at ways to make sure SCRABBLE® players pay their fair share even away from tournaments. The so-called kitchen table game will not be exempt. I hear there’s a good deal of antagonism now among players of Mattel SCRABBLE® in the rest of the world. They don’t want to be left behind and Mattel will be forced to follow our lead.
“And down the road, who knows? When you own the words, I think we’ll find ways to recoup our investment everywhere words are used — books, blogs — are you going to quote me? That’ll cost. It’s an exciting time for SCRABBLE®!”