The sudden hit Wordle, in which once a day players get six chances to guess a five-letter word, has been acquired by The New York Times Company. The smash online word game will integrate the daily word puzzle into The New York Times Games suite of word games.
Wordle was acquired from its creator, Josh Wardle, a software engineer in Brooklyn, for a price in the low seven figures, The Times said. The company said the game would initially remain free to new and existing players.
Wordle first appeared on a no-frills, ad-free website in October, and had 90 users on Nov. 1, that number grew to 300,000 by the middle of this month, and now millions play the game daily, according to the Times announcement. The game is played online and allows you to share your daily performance with colorful square emojis.
The game was originally created by Wardle as a gift for his partner, Palak Shah, after the two of them got hooked on word games (like the Times’ Spelling Bee and crosswords) during the pandemic. It was publicly released in late 2020, but has since exploded in popularity, thanks in part to the viral, emoji-based messages that allow players to share how they did on the daily puzzle without spoiling it for others.