Wordle is now part of The New York Times. The news publisher announced the acquisition on Monday.
Arguably the most popular word game at the moment – more so than even the venerable New York Times crossword puzzle — Wordle sold for, according to The New York Times, “in the low seven figures”.
Created by Josh Wardle to entertain him and his wife during the pandemic, Wordle is a deceptively simple word game that asks you to guess a daily five-letter word. The five-by-six play grid offers six turns. With each turn, you can guess a word (it must be a real word). The online-only game (there is no app), tells you which letters are correct and in the right place (a green square), which are correct but in the wrong place (yellow square), and which letter’s don’t belong at all (gray square).
As Omicron rose, millions bonded over their daily Wordle scores, which you can share on social media without revealing the puzzle solution.
Wordle captivated players with its simplicity, and, perhaps, because it was designed by Wardle, a former Silicon Valley worker, to be the opposite of most viral games and social media coming out of the valley. It also spawned countless knock-offs and guides on strategy. There was even an unsanctioned naughty version.
The New York Times plans to keep Wordle free for now, but who knows how long that will last. While you can read a handful of Times articles for free each month, The New York Times crossword puzzle is for subscribers only. Just how long will it be before your daily obsession is behind a paywall?
The news of Wordle’s acquisition comes on the heels of other breaking news, Sony’s $3.6 billion dollar acquisition of Bungie. That’s a much bigger deal, obviously, but for Wordle fans, this is the GIANT story.