Mattel launches new, less ‘intimidating’ version of Scrabble

Scrabble Together aims to make the game more collaborative.

London (CNN) — Scrabble, one of the world’s best-loved word games, is to get a new “collaborative” and “accessible” version.

The game has been around for more than 75 years, entertaining and infuriating players in equal measure with the simple premise of competing to see who can make the highest scoring words from a random selection of letters.

Now, an updated game named Scrabble Together adds “a second side to the board that is collaborative and faster-paced to make gameplay more accessible for anyone who finds word games intimidating,” according to a statement from Mattel published Tuesday.

Instead of competing, players collaborate to complete goal cards, and there are helper cards if assistance is required.

The aim is that the new game mode “brings people together,” Ray Adler, Global Head of Games at the company, said in the statement.

“Scrabble has truly stood the test of time as one of the most popular board games in history, and we want to ensure the game continues to be inclusive for all players,” he said. “For anyone who’s ever thought, ‘word games aren’t for me’, or felt a little intimidated by the Classic game, Scrabble Together Mode is an ideal option.”

Mattel said it conducted research among British board-gamers that shows that competitiveness is perceived as declining in younger generations. Of the 2,000 people surveyed, 35% believed baby boomers are the most competitive, followed by millennials on 31% and Gen-Z on 29%.

“The game speaks to a trend in younger people who want to avoid competitive games, instead favouring teamwork and collaboration working towards a fun goal together,” Brett Smitheram, the current UK number one Scrabble player and 2016 World Scrabble Champion, said in the statement.

Scrabble Together will be available across Europe, a Mattel spokesperson told CNN on Tuesday.

The updated version of the game won’t be available in the United States, however, as Mattel does not hold the license there.

While this is the first major change to the look of the Scrabble board, the game regularly adds new words to its official dictionary in order to keep up as the English language evolves.

In November 2022, more than 500 new words were added to the seventh edition of the dictionary, which now includes words that weren’t commonly used when the game was first created in the 1930s, like “adorbs,” “dox” or “zoodle.”

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