The New York Times purchased Wordle, the popular online puzzle that has become the latest gaming addiction, the company announced Monday.
The newspaper company, famous for its own crossword puzzle known to stump even those with the most in-depth lexicon, said it was “thrilled to announce” the purchase in a news release. It bought Wordle for an undisclosed “low seven figures,” The New York Times reported.
Josh Wardle, a Brooklyn-based software engineer who launched the game in October, said the response to his creation has been “incredible.”
“On the flip side, I’d be lying if I said this hasn’t been a little overwhelming,” Wardle tweeted following news of the sale. “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.”
The game has become so popular that people have attempted to replicate its success by making copycat app versions of the game. However, Apple in January quickly removed Wordle — The App and other clones of the game from its App Store. It is unclear how many apps were removed and when.
Twitter also recently took down a Wordle spoiler bot that ruined the game for other people by automatically replying to their tweets with the next day’s answer.
Wardle said he “long admired” the Times’ approach to games and that the game will remain free to users following the sale.
“Thank you all for playing and making Wordle an unforgettable experience,” he said.
Wordle is a seemingly simple puzzle, giving users six tries to guess a five-letter word that resets every day. There is no hint offered to start, but with each guess, the tiles turn green if the letters are in the right spot, yellow if they’re in the word but need to be moved, and eliminated altogether if the letter is not in the word.
Wordle has accumulated millions of daily players since its initial launch, according to the Times.
“The game has done what so few games have done: It has captured our collective imagination, and brought us all a little closer together,” Jonathan Knight, general manager for The New York Times games, said.