New York Times Buys Wordle


New York Times

NYT 3.38%

stated it purchased Wordle, the phrase recreation that has turn out to be a web-based phenomenon. 

The media firm stated it paid a worth within the low-seven figures. The sport will transfer from its present web site to the New York Instances web site and apps, however the firm declined to say when that will occur.

Wordle went viral this year, with tens of millions of individuals taking part in the puzzle day by day, in response to the New York Instances. Solely 90 folks performed it on Nov. 1. 

The once-a-day recreation flooded social-media feeds with inexperienced and yellow squares and captured the imaginations of individuals throughout generations. It sparked short-lived copycat variations and even prompted the creation of a


bot that spoiled results—which the social-media firm finally banned. 

Josh Wardle, the software program engineer who created Wordle, stated he made a prototype in 2013 and dusted it off in the course of the Covid-19 pandemic for his accomplice, who favored phrase video games. 

It began to unfold final month after Mr. Wardle made it straightforward to share outcomes on Twitter and


Jimmy Fallon, the host of “The Tonight Present,” ceaselessly tweeted his outcomes to his 51.4 million followers. 

The sport has additionally appeared in a “Saturday Night Live” sketch, and the New Yorker turned it into a cartoon

Mr. Wardle stated in a tweet Monday that the sport had turn out to be greater than he imagined and that he could be working with the New York Instances to maneuver the sport to its web site.

“It has been unimaginable to observe a recreation deliver a lot pleasure to so many, and I really feel so grateful for the non-public tales a few of you’ve got shared with me – from Wordle uniting distant members of the family, to frightening pleasant rivalries, to supporting medical recoveries,” Mr. Wardle stated in an announcement. “On the flip facet, I’d be mendacity if I stated this hasn’t been somewhat overwhelming. In spite of everything, I’m only one particular person, and it is very important me that, as Wordle grows, it continues to offer an amazing expertise to everybody.”

Mr. Wardle didn’t reply to a request for remark.

For now, the New York Instances stated Wordle could be free to play for brand new and current gamers.

“We don’t have set plans for the sport’s future,” stated Jordan Cohen, a spokesman for the Instances. “Presently, we’re centered on creating added worth to our current viewers, whereas additionally introducing our current video games to an all new viewers that has demonstrated their love for phrase video games.”

No modifications will likely be made to the gameplay, by which gamers have six guesses to determine a secret five-letter phrase.

There is plenty of debate among fans on one of the simplest ways to play. Mr. Wardle himself has stated he doesn’t know the perfect technique. “You’re asking the fallacious particular person,” he stated earlier this month. “I’m very unhealthy at it.”

The recognition of the sport sparked copycats to flood

Apple Inc.

’s App retailer with Wordle look-alikes, forcing Apple to delete them earlier this month. Wordle itself reminded folks of games they played years ago, like Mastermind and Jotto, with some Wordle followers impressed to dig via their closets to play them once more. 

The acquisition of Wordle comes after the Instances earlier this month agreed to acquire sports-media firm the Athletic for $550 million, because the writer seems to attract in younger readers and develop its subscription choices.

Video games have turn out to be a driver of subscription progress for the Instances, past its core information merchandise.

The Instances stated it didn’t presently have plans to promote advertisements in Wordle. Mr. Wardle saved Wordle advert free. And there was no app—customers needed to return to a website every day to play the sport. 

The Instances costs $5 a month for entry to its video games, together with its flagship crossword puzzle, Spelling Bee, Letter Boxed, Tiles and Vertex. The corporate stated that its video games had been performed greater than 500 million occasions in 2021 and that it reached a million video games subscriptions in December.

Within the third quarter, the Times’s net profit rose 63% in contrast with the earlier yr because it signed up 455,000 new digital subscribers and loved a robust advertising-sales efficiency.

Write to Joseph Pisani at

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New York Times Buys Wordle

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