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To GameHouse Staff: An Apology July 2, 2010

Posted by Phil Groom in Random Musings, Watching and Waiting.
Tags: , , , , , ,
Facebook Scrabble: Advertising Overlay

Facebook Scrabble: Advertising Overlay

If you’re a facebook Scrabble player, you’ll have become familiar with this sight over the last week or so: an advertising overlay that covers the board and counts down before it lets you play.

I’ve been one of the hundreds of people complaining about it, saying that it’s too intrusive and ruins the game.

This evening, however, I found out what it’s all about: GameHouse, the company that provides Scrabble on facebook, have got their backs to the wall, with something like half the workforce being laid off. Somehow, if the company is to survive — if the remaining staff are to keep their jobs and continue providing us with games on facebook (and Scrabble is just one of the many games they provide) — they’ve got to make those games pay.

Earlier today I left GameHouse an ultimatum on their facebook page:

Sorry guys but you haven’t listened: none of us want that ad overlay. It still takes 30 seconds to play through, which is far too long. Make it 10 seconds absolute max if you really must do it this way — but even that is unnecessary. Every other app developer I know of is perfectly content with banner and sidebar ads. Know this: I absolutely will not click through on your overlay ads. I absolutely will not purchase products from any companies whose ads you feature in this way. So you and your advertisers both ultimately lose because you alienate your own community and you alienate your advertisers.

ULTIMATUM: It’s your call: do away with the overlay or once my current games are over, I’m outtahere. It was fun while it lasted and I’m grateful for that: thank you. But you’ve now killed it and I’ll be blocking GameHouse from my facebook.

I’ve now taken that message down and I’d like to apologise, unreservedly, to any GameHouse staff who may have been hurt by my insensitivity. I’m sitting too close to the edge of possible redundancy myself to be able to take something like this lightly.

And to everyone else I say: play on! And if you want to keep on playing, do the biz and click through an ad or two.

GameHouse, I salute you!

Read all about the GameHouse layoffs here:


1. David Marriott - July 2, 2010

Mmm, it’s a tough call. I personally find it annoying, but it’s not the end of the world, is it? I’ll never click it, but I’ve grown desensitised to adverts – if it helps small game developers and British companies prosper, then so be it.

2. Kristy - July 2, 2010

Hi Phil – This is Kristy. I work for GameHouse. I just wanted to stop by and say thanks for the blog post. We are trying out some different things on the Scrabble page – and please know that we are listening very carefully to what each and everyone of our customers feedback on it is. Of that I can promise! So – thank you for taking the time to put this together. It is very much appreciated!


Phil Groom - July 3, 2010

Hey Kristy – hope Dr Despicable isn’t giving you too much of a hard time, either! Seriously, thanks for dropping by: wish I’d known what was going on behind the scenes before I launched into my complaints. Keep up the good work!

Kristy - July 6, 2010

I think I managed to get that darned Dr. Despicable under control 😉

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