As Wordle mania rages, New York Times buys it for ‘low-seven figures'

    The New York Times acquired Wordle, adding the popular daily word phenomenon to the newspaper company’s expanding portfolio of games and puzzles.
    By: BLOOMBERG
    | Updated on: Feb 01 2022, 09:36 IST
    Wordle
    Wordle game requires players to guess one word, every day, in only six attempts. (Representational image) (Shutterstock)
    Wordle
    Wordle game requires players to guess one word, every day, in only six attempts. (Representational image) (Shutterstock)

    The New York Times acquired Wordle, adding the popular daily word phenomenon to the newspaper company's expanding portfolio of games and puzzles. The price wasn't disclosed, but the Times said it paid in “the low-seven figures.” Wordle gives players six tries to guess a five-letter mystery word. It was created by Josh Wardle, a software engineer in Brooklyn. Since its debut in October, it has caught fire, with users posting on social media how many guesses it took them to solve the word. The game has millions of daily players, according to the Times. It will initially remain free to new and existing players, the Times said, raising concerns it may eventually go behind a paywall. 

    The Times is focusing on games as a way to diversify its revenue sources. With Donald Trump's chaotic presidency over, the newspaper has warned that subscriber growth won't continue at the rate recorded in 2020.

    In December, the Times crossed 1 million subscriptions to its games, which include “Spelling Bee” and crossword puzzles.

    Twitter suspends spoiler account for 'Wordle' answer reveal

    AFP Twitter suspended a bot account on Wednesday for spoiling the solution to the next day's Wordle, the wildly popular internet word puzzle.

    The game, which only offers one puzzle per day, has amassed millions of players since it came online last year.

    But the Twitter profile @wordlinator seemed determined to ruin the fun for participants posting their scores on the social media site.

    "The account referenced was suspended for violating the Twitter Rules and the Automation Rules around sending unsolicited @mentions," a Twitter spokesperson told AFP.

    The bot account automatically responded to accounts posting their Wordle scores with messages such as "Guess what. People don't care about your mediocre linguistic escapades. To teach you a lesson, tomorrow's word is" -- followed by the actual answer for the next day.

    Twitter said it does not tolerate its platform being used to harass other users.

    Its policy also notes that sending unsolicited, aggressive or bulk mentions, replies or direct messages warrants suspension from the platform or deleting of the account in question.

    Though Wordle gives players six chances to guess a five-letter word, does not have a mobile app and is only available on a web browser, the game has quickly caught on, partly thanks to users' ability to share their scores in green, yellow and gray grids on social media.

    It is likely the person behind the @wordlinator account found the upcoming winning words by simply looking at the Wordle web page's source code.

    "Just what kind of sick, twisted person do you have to be to hate the sight of people enjoying a harmless activity so much you hack Wordle?" asked one player on Twitter Tuesday.

     

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    First Published Date: 01 Feb, 09:36 IST
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