Viral word game Wordle purchased by NYT for ‘low-7 figures’

Viral word game Wordle is now part of The New York Times. Wordle creator Josh Wardle announced Monday that the media company’s games section will take over the game. Wordle will eventually move to the New York Times site, where it will be free-to-play for all players. Wardle said he’s trying to make sure players’ wins and win streaks move over to the new platform. (Thank you, Josh.)

“Since launching Wordle, I’ve been in awe of the response and the game has gotten bigger than I ever imagined,” Wardle wrote on Twitter. “On the flip side, it has been a little overwhelming. I am just one person, and it is important to me that, as Wordle grows, it continues to provide a great experience to everyone.”

The New York Times said Wordle was purchased for “an undisclosed price in the low-seven figures.” Wordle has “millions” of players each day, the New York Times said.

No changes are expected to be made to Wordle’s gameplay.

Reached out for clarification regarding a potential future move behind the NYT Crosswords subscription paywall, a New York Times spokesperson said the company doesn’t have “set plans for the game’s future.

“At this time, we’re focused on creating added value to our existing audience, while also introducing our existing games to an all new audience that has demonstrated their love for word games,” the spokesperson said. “Right now, the game will be free to play.”

“If you’re like me, you probably wake up every morning thinking about Wordle, and savoring those precious moments of discovery, surprise and accomplishment. The game has done what so few games have done: It has captured our collective imagination, and brought us all a little closer together,” New York Times Games general manager Jonathan Knight said in a statement.

Wordle was created last year, but really took off around Christmas. The game is very simple: You need to guess a five-letter word, and you have six tries to do so. Each try will reveal hints, like if the letter is in the correct spot, or not in the word at all. In 2022 it’s absolutely everywhere, including Google. You cannot open Twitter or a group chat without seeing green, yellow, and gray block emojis. Knight is right: Wordle’s simple mechanics and clear shareability make it a rare, small thing that’s just a pure delight. Everyone gets the same word each day, and posting your score on social media is like knowing (and keeping) a little secret.

Update: This story has been updated to include comment from The New York Times.

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