American media giant, The New York Times has purchased the viral word game Wordle for an undisclosed sum. According to some reports, the amount consists of 7 figures. The free-to-play game released in October 2021 has 3 million daily players. The news about NYT buying Wordle has got players debating whether it will become paid service in the future.
British software engineer Josh Wardle initially created the brain teaser for his girlfriend during the pandemic. He launched it to the public but never planned it as a full-fledged business. The publisher bought it as a part of their plan to increase subscribers.
The Developer Welcomes NYT Buying Wordle Deal
Wardle announced on social media that he was “incredibly pleased” about NYT buying Wordle. He credited The New York Times Games as a huge reason for its origin and said it was “very natural” for the publisher to purchase it.
He also assured that it would remain free for new and existing players after moving to NYT’s site. The developer is also working with the publisher on preserving players’ win/loss and streak data.
As Wardle explained, it was a “little overwhelming” for him to manage the daily running of the viral game.
Everybody Trying to Be Like Wordle
Given the popularity of the puzzle, NYT buying Wordle may not be that surprising. Many have tried to use the public’s obsession with this game for their own profit. Unofficial clones with ad bombs started to flood the App store while Wordle gained organic fame as a clean and free application. Apple later banned the apps, but Wordle’s success proved profitable for many unrelated knock-offs. There has never been any separate mobile application for Wordle on Android or iOS stores.
Worlde was entirely free on its own website, meaning there were no ads and hidden popups or downloads. Therefore, the creator could not make money off of it before. But, other people kept cashing in on its popularity by creating similar apps.
Will NYT Put Price Tag on Wordle?
Wardle strictly believed that he did not need to charge people for some light fun. However, the reports of NYT buying Wordle say that it will “initially” be free for everyone. It has confused and frustrated players across the world. Many have already suggested that they were perfectly capable of playing the game independently without corporate handling.
NYT would already profit from Wordle by remaining a free app because of the bombardment of banner ads throughout its pages. Moreover, the company itself said that it wanted to increase its subscriptions, which are not free. It suggests that only paid accounts would be able to play Wordle in the future. It also means that those who do not have anything to do with NYT would also be forced to pay the subscription fee, only to play a free game.
For those who want to know more about Wordle, here is how to play it.