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The New York Times buys Wordle: will it remain free?
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(Pocket-lint) – The New York Times – famous for The Crossword Puzzle, among others – has announced that it has acquired one of the world’s most popular word games and cultural phenomena: Wordle.
Wordle is a browser-based word guessing game with no apps to download. You have just visited a website and can start playing for free. The game basically gives you six chances to guess a five-letter word, and every day the page is updated with a new word. The word is the same for all players around the world.
Josh Wardle, a Brooklyn-based software engineer, created the game for his partner so they could kill time during the pandemic. It finally released Wordle last October, and it already has millions of daily players.
In its announcement, The New York Times noted that it launched The Crossword in 1942 and has since introduced The Mini crossword, Spelling Bee, Letter Boxed, Tiles and Vertex, all of which have been played over 500 million times in 2021. In buying Wordle, The New York Times claimed it was seeking to “entertain more puzzle solvers with puzzles every day — especially in these anxious times.”
The New York Times said it acquired Wordle for “less than seven figures”.
An update on Wordle pic.twitter.com/TmHd0AIRLX
— Josh Wardle (@powerlanguish) January 31, 2022
Wardle, in his own statement , mentioned that he had long admired The New York Times and that the paper’s values aligned with his own. “This step feels very natural to me,” he said. Wardle also explained that the massively popular game has “been a bit overwhelming” for him – considering he’s the only person running the entire game.
If you’re wondering if Wordle will suddenly cost money to play, The New York Times has confirmed that it will remain free for new and existing players, and there will be no changes to its gameplay. Wardle also strives to preserve players’ existing wins and streak data once the game moves to its new home.
Written by Maggie Tillman.