The New York Times Buys Wordle

By Brad Pareso 

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 purchase, announced by the Times on Monday, reflects the growing importance of games, like crosswords and Spelling Bee, in the company’s quest to increase digital subscriptions to 10 million by 2025 (NYT)

The game, created by Josh Wardle, will initially continue to be free to play. (NPR)

Wardle made Wordle public in October and it exploded in popularity; some 90 people played on Nov. 1, 2021, a figure that grew to more than 300,000 on Jan. 3, the Times reported. It now has “millions” of daily players, according to the Times. (WaPo)

In his announcement of the sale—for a price that the Times’ announcement reports is “an undisclosed price in the low seven figures”—Wardle explains that running the hugely popular game has “been a little overwhelming,” especially considering that he’s the only person who actually handles running the entire game. (The Verge)

The Times is adding the puzzle to their portfolio of word games such as The Crossword, The Mini and Spelling Bee. As of December 2021, the Times has more than 1 million Games subscriptions. (CNN Business)