The New York Times reported on Monday that it has purchased the hit word game “Wordle,” which will always remain free and there will be no changes to the main features of the game.
In a statement Monday posted on TwitterThe game’s creator, Josh Wardle, confirmed, “When the game moves to the NYT site, it will be free to play for everyone, and I’m working with them to make sure your wins and streaks are preserved. .”
The popular word game was released in October and quickly gained millions of daily users, making it an attractive acquisition for The Times. As Polygon pointed out, the game really seemed to take off around Christmas.
Wardle, a software engineer, was already a fan of The Times’ puns, which became big business for the paper, as The Hollywood Reporter notes.
The New York Times has been publishing word puzzles since 1942, when the paper published its first Sunday Puzzle and became the first major American newspaper to do so. In 1950, crossword puzzles appeared daily in the newspaper.
Wordle’s rapid success has been, in part, attributed to the way the game is played, with players having six chances to guess a five-letter word each day. Players can show off their scores by posting them to their Twitter and Facebook feeds. The game gives small clues, but as Marketplace notes, the 3 million global users the game has grown in such a short time is tied to its interactive qualities and shareable features.
Wordle creates a new puzzle every day and there is a “common” experience to that.
Earlier this month, Wardle told BBC Radio 4: “I’m a bit wary of mobile apps that ask for your attention and send you push notifications to get your attention further.” Wardle said of the game: “There’s no advertising either. I don’t do anything with your data, and it’s also quite deliberate.
Wardle wrote on Monday“It was amazing to see a game bring so much joy to so many people, and I’m so grateful for the personal stories some of you have shared with me – from Wordle uniting estranged family members, to provoking friendly rivalries, supporting recovering doctors.”
In 2009, another hit game, Words with Friends, also caused a stir in the Apple Store, as the online multiplayer word game, similar to the main game features of Scrabble, managed to gain a large audience.