How EA Mobile approached bringing Scrabble to the Android platform

by Brad Spirrison

Scrabble has finally landed on Android. The hugely popular crossword game has been a hit title on iOS devices for a few years, so it’s encouraging that the app is now available for Android word-game fans too.

We sat down with Alexandre Benoit, producer at EA Mobile, to find out more about the challenges of bringing Scrabble FREE to Android, and the future plans and opportunities ahead for EA Mobile in the Android space.

APPOLICIOUS: While Scrabble is undoubtedly the strongest and most popular brand when it comes to word games, the company has a lot of competition on mobile devices. How do you differentiate from the crowd?

ALEXANDRE BENOIT: We focus on giving players the most fun possible, more features more polish, better experience.

APPO: What can users of your new Android app expect upon downloading it?

AB: Game night with your friends. This is the original and we believe, the greatest word game out there and we do our best to simulate those good times.

APPO: How challenging is it to create a game like Scrabble on multiple Android smartphones that are carried on multiple versions?

AB: It’s challenging with all of the different handsets, screen sizes etc., but EA Mobile has a long history of being able to develop quality games that are optimized for a multitude of handsets so we rely on our experience to bring the best experiences to consumers.

APPO: Is there a Honeycomb-specific tablet version?

AB: We have just added support for tablets in our latest update. As for a version customized for tablets, we haven’t announced anything yet. We are dedicated though to bringing the best Scrabble experience wherever the people are.

APPO: From a marketing perspective, what are the best ways to generate awareness of a new Android game upon launch?

AB: It’s always a challenge to find the right marketing channels to reach your demographic; we are lucky in that we already have a relationship with our players on other platforms like Facebook where we can open that discussion. The recent changes in the Android market have also made it possible for good games to stand out in the sea of apps.

APPO: How do you drive downloads over time?

AB: We make sure as many people as possible are aware of all the improvements we keep making to the game throughout its life with marketing initiatives.

APPO: Are there plans to make a premium, advertising-free version of the game for Android?

AB: We don’t have anything to announce today, but let me explain our position a bit. The Android space is a tricky place to be successful; as a company, we are constantly looking for the best way to give our players what they want while making sure being on the platform is sustainable.

APPO: From your vantage point, what are the three biggest challenges and opportunities in the mobile media industry currently keeping you up at night?

AB: It’s moving so fast! We’re confident when it’s time to talk about making a fun game but it’s hard to turn on a dime to react to the industry’s movements. Balancing the gamble of new platforms and business models with the risk of playing catch-up is not always a relaxing experience but it’s worth it in the end when you see people on the street enjoying our games.