The company purchased the game from its creator Josh Wardle, a software engineer in Brooklyn, for a price “in the low seven figures,” TheTimes said on Monday.
Wordle has become an overnight sensation since it first appeared on an ad-free website in October with 90 people playing in November. By January 2022, the game had more than 300,000 players. According to The Times, the game will “initially remain free to new and existing players.”
Wordle is a daily word game that can be played through your web browser. The aim of the game is to guess a mystery five-letter word, known as the “wordle” in six tries. After each guess, the colour of the tiles will change to reflect how close your guess was to the word.
The New York Times said that its purchase of Wordle reflects the growing importance of games “in the company’s quest to grow digital subscriptions to 10 million by 2025.” Along with Wordle, the New York Times Company offers a games subscription for original games like the crossword, Spelling Bee, Letter Boxed, Tiles, and Vertex.
“New York Times Games play a big part in its origins,” Wardle said in a statement regarding the purchase of Wordle, “and so this step feels very natural to me.”
In the statement, Wardle also noted that he’d “be lying” if he said that being in charge of the immensely popular game hadn’t been “a little overwhelming”.
“After all, I am just one person and it is important to me that, as Wordle grows, it continues to provide a great experience to everyone,” he wrote, before expressing his gratitude to all those who have played the game.
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