The New York Times revealed on Monday that it has purchased Wordle, the daily word game that has become a cultural phenomenon.
The Times said that the enormously popular puzzle game, in which players try to identify a five-letter phrase in six attempts, was acquired for an unknown price “in the low seven figures.”
In October 2021, Brooklyn-based software programmer Josh Wardle launched the one-play-per-day title to a small audience of roughly 90 people. The game now has millions of regular players less than four months later.
In a Monday tweet, Wardle wrote, “It’s been fantastic to witness a game offer so much joy to so many, and I’m so thankful for the personal tales some of you have shared with me.”
“Wordle has done everything from bringing long-distance family members together to inciting friendly rivalries and assisting with medical recovery.”
Wardle noted that the puzzle would remain free to play for everyone and that he is working with the New York Times to guarantee that victories and streaks would be retained during the transition. In December, the New York Times Games platform, which includes The Mini Crossword, Spelling Bee, Letter-Boxed, Tiles, and Vertex, hit one million subscribers.
“If you’ve followed the tale of Wordle, you’ll know that NYT games play a huge part in its roots,” Wardle explained, “and so this move feels quite natural to me.”
Wordle, a cross between Jotto and Mastermind, uses yellow and green tiles to determine which letter guesses are right and, more crucially, in the correct location. Even if you don’t play, you’ve probably seen the grey, yellow, and green grids that populate social media timelines. On browsers all across the world, a lot of clones and variants have developed.
In a statement, Jonathan Knight, general manager of The New York Times Games platform, stated, “If you’re like me, you probably wake up every morning thinking about Wordle, and relishing those rare moments of discovery, surprise, and successes.”
“The game has done something that very few games have done before: it has caught our collective imagination and brought us all a bit closer together.”