Developer Zach Shakked — the creator of one of several controversial copycat versions of Josh Wardle’s popular free word-guessing game — has responded to Apple removing his app from the App Store after an web backlash that adopted his boasting concerning the money-making potential of his clone.
“I notice I crossed a line. And I absolutely, absolutely won’t ever do something remotely near this once more. I fucked up,” tweeted Shakked. He goes on to elucidate that “Wordle” itself wasn’t trademarked and that Wardle’s sport was much like Lingo, an older TV sport present with an identical word-guessing mechanic. Shakked additionally says that he deliberate to develop on Wordle with extra performance and alter the general design of the app to much less resemble Wardle’s personal sport, had he been capable of earlier than Apple eliminated his app from the shop.
Right here had been my calculations:
a) Wordle is a ripoff of one other sport
b) Wordle the phrase is not trademarked and there is a bunch of different unrelated phrase apps named the identical factor
c) Wow, I am going to hack collectively one thing on the weekend and see if I could make a buck
— Zach (@zachshakked) January 12, 2022
Wordle has skyrocketed to reputation over the previous a number of weeks, with its minimalist design, bite-sized every day puzzles, and the now-iconic grids of gray, yellow, and inexperienced squares. The unique sport is totally free and solely performed by means of an online browser, leaving a chance for any variety of copycats to attempt to make a fast buck off the idea on the App Retailer.
Shakked’s clone (known as “Wordle – The App”) was one of many extra high-profile copies, due to the developer’s celebratory tweets concerning the challenge and the eyebrow-raising price ticket — an non-compulsory $30-per-year annual subscription that might enable gamers to play an infinite variety of puzzles, as a substitute of Wordle’s one-per-day system. Shakked’s tweets additionally rubbed many the improper approach, boasting about what number of downloads and subscription trials his app was getting and the way it was “going to the fucking moon.”
Shortly after stories of Wordle knockoffs broke, Apple leapt into motion, eradicating the offending apps from the App Retailer final evening. Presently, there are solely two puzzle video games known as “Wordle” left on Apple’s storefront, each of which provide very several types of phrase video games than Wardle’s viral hit and which predate the net app by quite a few years. (By the way, the opposite Wordles seem like vastly benefiting from Wardle’s sport’s success, with each apps rocketing up the App Retailer charts).
In a separate thread, Shakked additionally says that he spoke to Wardle and provided to license the concept, work collectively to develop an official app, or pay him a proportion of any revenue, which Wardle reportedly declined. Shakked additionally claims that he instructed Wardle that he would “think about altering the title” earlier than the app was eliminated fully.
Wardle, for what it’s value, has already been extraordinarily clear concerning the concept of monetizing Wordle (which, as he explained in a New York Times interview, was initially created as a present for his companion). “I feel folks form of admire that there’s this factor on-line that’s simply enjoyable,” Wardle stated. “It’s not making an attempt to do something shady together with your knowledge or your eyeballs. It’s only a sport that’s enjoyable.”
The aftermath of the blowback appears to have soured Shakked (who had beforehand complained on Twitter about how “[s]hameless copy/pasting concepts/options will get you nowhere”) on the concept of copycat apps sooner or later. “I’ll return to creating apps based mostly on my utterly, evergreen, unique concepts and by no means fuck with something remotely like this once more,” Shakked’s thread concludes.
Zach Shakked didn’t reply to request for remark.