“What’s nice about Wordle is how simple, pleasant and attractive the computer interface is,” Will Shortz, editor of the New York Times Crossword said. Limiting players to six guesses per day and rationing out one puzzle per day adds excitement to the solving process, he said. “It’s a great puzzle, and it doesn’t take long to play, which make it perfect for our age when people have short attention spans.”
Josh Wardle, a software engineer in Brooklyn, created the game as a gift for his partner. It was released to the public in October, and it exploded in popularity in a matter of months. Ninety people played the game on Nov. 1, Mr. Wardle said. Nearly two months later, 300,000 people played it.
To play the game, people are required to guess a predetermined five-letter word in six tries. The yellow and green squares indicate that the Wordle player has guessed a correct letter, or a combined correct letter and placement.
The buzz around the game can be attributed to the spoiler-free scoring grid that allows players to share their Wordle wins across social media, group chats and more.
“If you’re like me, you probably wake up every morning thinking about Wordle and savoring those precious moments of discovery, surprise and accomplishment,” said Jonathan Knight, general manager for The New York Times Games. “The game has done what so few games have done — it has captured our collective imagination and brought us all a little closer together. We could not be more thrilled to become the new home and proud stewards of this magical game and are honored to help bring Mr. Wardle’s cherished creation to more solvers in the months ahead.”
“I’ve long admired The Times’s approach to the quality of their games and the respect with which they treat their players,” Mr. Wardle said. “Their values are aligned with mine on these matters and I’m thrilled that they will be stewards of the game moving forward.”
When the game moves to The New York Times, Wordle will be free to play for new and existing players, and no changes will be made to its gameplay.
Wordle was acquired for an undisclosed price in the low seven figures.