Wordle has been bought by The New York Times

Virgin Radio

1 Feb 2022, 08:18

Credit: Getty

Credit: Getty

The word game has become so popular since it was launched in October that its creator has sold it for a reported seven-figure sum.

Josh Wardle has sold Wordle to The New York Times for an undisclosed amount, but if the game has become a staple of your day, then don’t worry, it will remain free to play.

The simple-but-clever word game, which gives the player six guesses to work out a five-letter word, was created by software engineer Josh Wardle. Players take part in trying to find a new word every day. If the letter that a player guesses isn’t in the target word, that letter will turn grey. If it is in the target word but in the wrong place, it will turn yellow. If it’s in the word and in the right place, it will go green. 

Mr Wardle, who originally invented the game just for his partner to play, said in a statement: “Since launching Wordle, I've been in awe of the response from everyone that has played. The game has gotten bigger than I ever imagine, (which I suppose isn't that much of a feat given I made the game for an audience of 1),”

Wordle is now played by millions of people every day, and despite saying that “it has been incredible to see a game bring so much joy to so many”, Mr Wardle has admitted that the game's success has been "a little overwhelming". He is, therefore, "incredibly pleased" to announce a deal with the New York Times “for them to take over running Wordle going forward”.

He said: “I've long admired the NYT's approach to their games and the respect with which they treat their players. Their values are aligned with mine on these matters and I'm thrilled that they will be stewards of the game moving forward.”

The BBC reports that The New York Times bought Wordle for an amount “in the low seven figures”.

In a statement, the New York Times said: “The Times remains focused on becoming the essential subscription for every English-speaking person seeking to understand and engage with the world. New York Times Games are a key part of that strategy.”

The statement continued: “Our games already provide original, high-quality content and experiences every single day. Wordle will now play a part in that daily experience, giving millions more people around the world another reason to turn to The Times to meet their daily news and life needs.”

The game’s creator said that “when the game moves to the NYT site, it will be free to play for everyone.” Mr Wardle also said that he is working to ensure that players’ wins and streaks will be preserved. 

Thank goodness for that!