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New York Times buys Wordle; online game to remain free at this time

Millions of people play popular online word game each day
The New York Times has bought the popular online word game Wordle. (New York Times Games/Twitter)

The New York Times has bought the popular online game Wordle, the company announced Monday (Jan. 31).

Wordle, first launched by creator Josh Wardle in October, has grown from 90 daily players on Nov. 1, 2021 to millions of player today, according to the New York Times. The game involves players trying to guess a five-letter word in six guesses. After each guess, the tiles will change colour to indicate if the letter is used in that word and whether it is in the right spot.

“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.”

Knight said that Wordle will join other New York Times games such as the crossword, the mini crossword, spelling bee and sudoku.

Wardle, a software engineer in Brooklyn, said that selling the game to the New York times felt “very natural” to him.

“I’ve long admired The Times’s approach to the quality of their games and the respect with which they treat their players,” Wardle said. “Their values are aligned with mine on these matters and I’m thrilled that they will be stewards of the game moving forward.”

The New York Times bought Wordle for an undisclosed amount in the low seven-figures.


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