When it was announced that The New York Times had bought the online word game Wordle for an undisclosed sum of at least seven figures, it seemed both surprising and predictable.
Just in case the phenomenon of Wordle has passed you by, here’s a quick primer. It’s a game in which you have six attempts to guess a five-letter word. You play by making an initial guess for the single word that is released each day. Right letters in the right place are then marked as green, right letters in the wrong place turn orange and letters that don’t feature at all in the word remain gray. By a process of elimination, players need to use logic to work out the actual words.
Already, there have been countless articles explaining the popularity of Wordle. There have even been several psychological and scientific explanations of exactly why it has captured the imagination of so many people.
And now that the NYT does own the format and have promised that, initially at least, it will be free to play they will almost certainly be looking for other ways to monetize the game beyond offering it as a daily brain-teaser to their online readers.
It’s also sure got other sectors of the entertainment industry thinking about how they may capitalize on its success without having to pay too much for the privilege. A case in point could be the online casino sector which is always on the lookout both for novelty and ways to recruit new players. Typically, with a free bonus no deposit casino UK players have a strong enough incentive to try out new sites without any initial outlay. But with new Wordle-style games to enjoy it could become even more appealing.
At the most simple level, it could be that a Wordle puzzle for new players needs to be cracked in order to boost their welcome bonus. Other options could be to devise bingo games using a similar mechanic to deliver the numbers. It could even be incorporated as a bonus round in a slots game, possibly to be played against the clock with a bigger payout the quicker it is solved.
Then there’s the other element of Wordle that many believe is fundamental to its success – its social element. It’s quite something for a game to bring millions of people together to play the same game on the same day. Plus, it’s a game that can let players show off how they have done each day without revealing the actual solution. So we can probably expect all of the major social media sites to continue with their interest in the game, as well as seek different ways to foster the Wordle community.
And, as the future for the printed newspaper industry looks more and more uncertain with many titles closing down, anything that the NYT can do to build up its online readership is sure to be of interest to its owners. So, we can certainly expect to see much more Wordle-related content than even the most optimistic fan could ever hope for in the future.