It’s so simple. It’s so clean. It’s not even an app. Heck this morning on the Today Show I explained what Wordle was. Now, just hours later, the news is out, the New York Times has acquired the hit game and will incorporate it into their own website.
This morning, creator Josh Wardle announced the acquisition on twitter, saying “Since launching Wordle, I’ve been in awe of the response from everyone that has played. The game has gotten bigger than I ever imagined (which I suppose isn’t that much of a feat given I made the game for an audience of 1)
It has been incredible to watch a game bring so much joy to so many, and I feel so grateful for the personal stories some of you have shared with me from Wordle uniting distant family members, to provoking friendly rivalries to supporting medical recoveries
On the flip side, I’d be lying if I said this hasn’t been a little overwhelming After all. I am just one person, and it is important to me that, as Wordle grows, it continues to provide a great experience to everyone
Given this, I am incredibly pleased to announce that I’ve reached an agreement with The New York Times for them to take over running Wordle going forward. If you’ve followed along with the story of Wordle, you’ll know that NYT games play a big part in its origins and so this step feels very natural to me
I’ve long admired the NYT’s approach to their games and the respect with which they treat their players. Their values are aligned with mine on these matters and I’m thrilled that they will be stewards of the game moving forward
When the game moves to the NYT site, it will be free to play for everyone, and I am working with them to make sure your wins and streaks will be preserved.
Thank you all for playing and making Wordle an unforgettable experience.
Over at the New York Times, General Manager for NYT Games Jonathan Knight summed up the feelings of most Wordle users “If you’re like me, you probably wake up every morning thinking about Wordle, and savoring those precious moments of discovery, surprise and accomplishment. The game has done what so few games have done: It has captured our collective imagination, and brought us all a little closer together. We could not be more thrilled to become the new home and proud stewards of this magical game, and are honored to help bring Josh Wardle’s cherished creation to more solvers in the months ahead,” said Jonathan Knight, general manager for The New York Times Games. “As part of our portfolio of games, Wordle will have an exciting future with the help of a team of talented engineers, designers, editors and more, furthering the user experience.”
The biggest part of the NYT statement though was the final line – Wordle was acquired for an undisclosed price in the low-seven figures – Yep, that free to play word game that’s not even an app – just earned Josh a Million Dollars or more.
Expect it to stay the same, yet prompt you to play more games within the NYT Games section, and perhaps offer more than one a day, or even new versions with more letters – who knows.
Given how fast viral trends move and fade, I reckon Josh got out at just the right time.