Wordle Was Purchased By The New York Times So That’s The End Of That

February 1, 2022 / Posted by:

Take a good long look at all those green and yellow squares your so-called “smart” friends have been posting on Twitter because Wordle just went corporate. NPR reports that The New York Times has purchased the viral word game for “an undisclosed price in the low-seven figures,” which is great news for the nerd that invented it, Josh Wardle, but terrible news for the nerds who play it. And to all the knuckle-dragging neanderthals who’ve been perplexed by the sudden influx of Chiclet gum emojis on their Twitter timeline over the past few months, you may unfurrow that gargantuan brow ridge. This is what all that business was about.

Wordle has only been around since October 2021 when Josh Wordle released it as a daily puzzle that must be played in a web browser since there is no app. Once in the game, players stare at a blank grid of squares as their brains empty of all thought. They then just keep staring at the squares waiting for something to happen. Eventually, they will get frustrated and close their browser. At least that’s been my experience. But according to NPR:

To play the game, players have six tries to guess a five-letter word. Many users choose to share their results — a grid of green, yellow and black boxes — on social media.

The game, created by Josh Wardle, will initially continue to be free to play.

Wordle, which was released in October 2021, is a daily word puzzle that has soared in popularity, amassing millions of daily players within months.

On Nov. 1, the game had 90 players. Nearly two months later, the figure ballooned to 300,000, according to the release from The New York Times.

I’m a crossword nerd so I thought I’d love Wordle but I tried it and it was confusing and frustrating (see above). I need actual clues that don’t feel like math. But I do play the NYT’s Mini crossword game, which was introduced in 2014 along with a few other games. And Wordle will join those offerings, which require a paid subscription. According to NYT:

New York Times Games have captivated solvers since the launch of The Crossword in 1942. Our experts create engaging word and visual games — in 2014 we introduced The Mini crossword, followed by Spelling Bee, Letter Boxed, Tiles and Vertex. Our games were played more than 500 million times in 2021, and in December, we reached one million Games subscriptions.

As The Times looks to entertain more solvers with puzzles every day — especially during these anxious times — we’re thrilled to announce that we’ve acquired Wordle, the stimulating and wildly popular daily word game that has become a cultural phenomenon.

Wordle will now play a part in that daily experience, giving millions more people around the world another reason to turn to The Times to meet their daily news and life needs.

Here’s Josh Wardle’s statement about the acquisition.

Note he says “when the game moves to the NYT site, it will be free to play for everyone,” but neither he nor the NYT say for how long. But we can safely assume this is the beginning of the end of Wordle as we know it.

Sure, but then how would you brag about it? If a Wordle gets solved in a forest, can anybody see the result?

Pic: Wordle

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