(Pocket-lint) - The New York Times' Games section - famous for The Crossword puzzle, among other things - has announced it acquired one of the world's most popular word games and cultural phenomenons: Wordle.
What is Wordle and how do you play it?
Wordle is a browser-based word guessing game with millions of daily players. There is no app to download. You just visit its website and start playing for free. The game has a simple premise: You have six chances to guess a five-letter word, and each day the webpage is updated with a new word for you to guess. The word is the same for all players around the globe.
Why did The New York Times buy Wordle?
In its announcement, The New York Times noted it launched The Crossword in 1942 and has since gone on to introduce The Mini crossword, Spelling Bee, Letter Boxed, Tiles, and Vertex - all of which were played more than 500 million times in 2021. Now, by buying Wordle, it said it's looking to "entertain more solvers with puzzles every day - especially during these anxious times".
Who created Wordle?
Josh Wardle, a Brooklyn-based software engineer, created Wordle for his partner so they could kill time during the pandemic. He ultimately released Wordle last October for anyone to play free of charge.
Wardle, in his own statement, said he's long admired The New York Times and that the newspaper's values are aligned with his own. "I'm thrilled that they will be the stewards of the game moving forward", he said. Wardle also explained how the massively popular game had been "a little overwhelming" for him - especially because he's been the only person running the entire game.
"This step feels very natural to me", Wardle said.
An update on Wordle pic.twitter.com/TmHd0AIRLX— Josh Wardle (@powerlanguish) January 31, 2022
How much did The New York Times pay for Wordle?
The New York Times said it acquired Wordle for a "low-seven figures".
Will The New York Times put Wordle behind a paywall?
If you're wondering whether Wordle will suddenly cost money to play, here's what The New York Times has said:
"At the time it moves to The New York Times, Wordle will be free to play for new and existing players, and no changes will be made to its gameplay."
The wording of that statement leaves open the possibility that The New York Times could put Wordle behind its subscriber paywall or monetise the game in some other way in the future.
But, for now, Wordle will remain free to play with no changes to how you play it.
Will streaks start over when Wordle moves?
One of the most addicting aspects about Wordle is your wins are remembered. Essentially, you can generate a streak the more you win. There was some initial concern that players would lose their streaks after Wordle moves to its new home, but Wardle has revealed in his statement that he is working to preserve players’ existing wins and streak data once the game moves to The New York Times.