The New York Times has acquired Wordle for an 'undisclosed price in the low 7 figures'
New York Timeshas purchased the hit online word game Wordle, it announced Monday.
- The daily word-solving game has become a smash hit across social
"I've long admired The Times's approach to the quality of their games and the respect with which they treat their players," Josh Wardle, the Brooklyn, New York, software engineer who created the game, said in a statement. "Their values are aligned with mine on these matters and I'm thrilled that they will be stewards of the game moving forward."
Originally made for an audience of one (Wardle's partner), the game launched publicly in October and quickly grew from 90 players on November 1 to more than 300,000 just two months later.
"The game has done what so few games have done — it has captured our collective imagination and brought us all a little closer together," Jonathan Knight, the general manager of games at The New York Times, said in a statement.
Wordle has proved so popular that several knock-off apps have attempted to cash in on its success, and Apple has removed the clones from its App Store.
Integral to the game's success has been its understated sharing feature, which posts a grid of colorful blocks to showcase the player's success or failure at guessing the correct letters.
Wardle said in an interview with NPR that the social isolation of the pandemic may have helped make this feature even more sticky.
Sharing results is "a way for people to connect with friends and family that they couldn't otherwise see, and it just provides this really easy way to touch base with others," he said.
Wordle's social cachet is similar to that of another New York Times viral game, Spelling Bee, and a form of "inconspicuous consumption," which Insider's Hillary Hoffower likened to carrying a New Yorker magazine tote bag.
In a separate statement, Wardle also made sure to let die-hard players know he was looking out for them: Wins and streaks will be preserved.
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