The New York Times Buys the Viral Game Wordle; May Not Remain Free for Long

The New York Times Buys the Viral Game Wordle; May Not Remain Free for Long

Wordle, the free game that went viral in a matter of months, has been acquired by The New York Times for a price “in the low seven figures.” The company added that the game would initially remain free to play for new and existing players.

Wordle is the brainchild of Josh Wardle. It is a word game wherein you have to guess a five-letter word in six tries. It keeps track of the number of times you win and shows a graphic you can share with friends. The game’s popularity spawned various copycat apps, which were later taken down from the App Store. At the beginning of the month, the developer promised that he intends to keep the game limited to the web and free to play. However, this could change in the future as it has been acquired by The New York Times.

Wardle released a statement saying that although he is “in awe of the response from everyone that has played” the game, the experience has been overwhelming for him. He added that he’s thrilled with the acquisition.

Our Take

Although the acquisition comes as good news for Wardle, loyal Wordle players may not welcome the change. The New York Times may put the game behind a paywall, or even impose a registration requirement to play it. Ever since the publication added a paywall in 2011, its strategy has been to coax readers into buying subscriptions. Many of the Times’ games such as Spelling Bee, Sudoku, as well as mini-crossword can be played for free. However, a subscription is required to play the full version of its crossword puzzles.

Would you play Wordle if The New York Times paywalls it? Let us know in the comments.

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