The word game was created by Reddit engineer Josh Wardle for his partner. Launched in October 2021, the free-to-play game has already amassed a massive user base running into millions.
In a statement posted on social media, Josh wrote, “Given this, I am incredibly pleased to announce that I’ve reached an agreement with The New York Times for them to take over running Wordle going forward. If you’ve followed along with the story of Wordle, you’ll know that NYT games play a big part in its origins and so this step feels very natural to me.”
He also added that the team was working with NYT to ensure the users’ ‘wins and streaks will be preserved’.
“What’s nice about Wordle is how simple, pleasant and attractive the computer interface is. It’s a great puzzle, and it doesn’t take long to play, which makes it perfect for our age when people have short attention spans,” Will Shortz, editor of the New York Times Crossword, said in the announcement.
The publication as well as Josh have clarified that the game will remain free to play and would not be put behind a paywall after the acquisition. The NYT also assured that no changes will be made to the gameplay.
“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,” the newspaper said.
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Jonathan Knight, general manager for The New York Times Games, said, “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. 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.”