The New York Times has acquired Wordle, the explosively popular game that gives players six chances to guess a five-letter word daily.
The Times, which announced the purchase of the game on Monday, is adding the puzzle to their portfolio of word games such as The Crossword, The Mini and Spelling Bee. As of December 2021, the New York Times (NYT) has over one million Games subscriptions.
“The Times remains focused on becoming the essential subscription for every English-speaking person seeking to understand and engage with the world. New York Times Games are a key part of that strategy,” according to the statement. “Wordle will now play a part in that daily experience, giving millions more people around the world another reason to turn to The Times to meet their daily news and life needs.”
Josh Wardle, a Brooklyn-based software engineer formerly at Reddit, released the game in October 2021, and it quickly became a cultural phenomenon. Millions of people now play Wordle every day, according to the Times.
In a statement released on Twitter Monday, Wardle wrote of the game’s success, “I’d be lying if I said this hasn’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.”
Wordle, purchased for a price the Times described as being “in the low seven figures,” will initially remain free to new and existing players. “We don’t have set plans for the game’s future,” Jordan Cohen, executive director at The Times, said in an email. “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.”
Wardle is working with The Times to ensure that, once the game moves to the paper’s site, existing players’ wins and streaks are preserved, according to his statement.