The New York Times just announced that it has bought Wordle, the surprise smash-hit word-guessing game that has taken over people’s browsers (and Twitter feeds) for the last month, for a price “in the low seven figures.”
The paper’s announcement says the acquisition is part of its digital subscription growth strategy, with its games app being one of the key ways—along with crosswords—that the Times hopes to attract more subscribers beyond those interested in its news services.
Wordle creator Josh Wardle also made an announcement about the purchase, which reads more like the game is dying, not going to a new home:
An update on Wordle
Since launching Wordle, I’ve been in awe of the response from everyone that has played. The game has gotten bigger than I ever imagined (which I suppose isn’t that much of a feat given I made the game for an audience of 1).
It has been incredible to watch a game bring so much joy to so many, and I feel so grateful for the personal stories some of you have shared with me – from Wordle uniting distant family members, to provoking friendly rivalries, to supporting medical recoveries.
On the flip side, 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.
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.
I’ve long admired the NYT’s approach to their games and the respect with which they treat their players. 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 NYT site, it will be free to play for everyone, and I am working with them to make sure your wins and streaks will be preserved.
Thank you all for playing and making Wordle an unforgettable experience.