Wordle was acquired for an undisclosed price in the low-seven figures by The New York Times and the online game will now be a part of the publisher’s portfolio of puzzle games.
Wordle is an online daily word game that has gained pop-culture popularity in recent times. The game will be an addition to The Mini crossword, Spelling Bee, Letter Boxed, Tiles, Vertex, and more puzzle games that have been played over 500 Mn times in 2021, and reached 1 Mn game subscriptions. Wordle will still be available to play for new and existing players for free.
Players get six tries to guess a 5-letter mystery word. In the course of a few months, Wordle has become a phenomenon in popular culture; it is often mentioned in social interactions and is also a meme format now. 90 people played the game on November 1. Nearly two months later, 300,000 people played it. Now, the puzzle has millions of daily players.
Several reasons have been cited to support Wordle’s growth, and while the word-game market has been steadfast since the newspaper days, the pandemic and rise in online games have contributed to it becoming a phenomenon. Moreover, the simplicity of the game and being freely available increased its accessibility, and the practice of players sharing their scores on social media increased the game’s reach.
Jonathan Knight, General Manager, The New York Times Games mentions, “If you’re like me, you probably wake up every morning thinking about Wordle, and savoring those precious moments of discovery, surprise, and accomplishment. The game has done what so few games have done: It has captured our collective imagination and brought us all a little closer together. We could not be more thrilled to become the new home and proud stewards of this magical game, and are honored to help bring Josh Wardle’s cherished creation to more solvers in the months ahead”.
Josh Wardle, creator of the game said, “If you’ve followed along with the story of Wordle, you’ll know that New York Times Games play a big part in its origins, and so this step feels very natural to me. I’ve long admired The Times’s approach to the quality of their games and the respect with which they treat their players. Their values are aligned with mine on these matters and I’m thrilled that they will be stewards of the game moving forward”.