Wordle Players Livid Over News of Acquisition: 'Everything Is Sh*t'
The computer game was recently sold to the New York Times in a seven-figure deal, per reports.
Wordle, the beloved word game that has captured the attention of so many, has officially been acquired by The New York Times.
To play the game, users must guess a five-letter word using six different tries, prompting many to share their correct guesses and win streaks on social media, which has helped blow up the popularity of the game.
The Wordle acquisition closed for a reported seven figures, per the Times, and will continue to remain free for users in the immediate future.
"We don't have set plans for the game's future," New York Times executive director Jordan Cohen told CNN Business. "At this time, we're focused on creating added value to our existing audience, while also introducing our existing games to an all new audience that has demonstrated their love for word games."
Wordle creator Josh Wardle, a British engineer who formerly worked at Reddit, released a statement on his Twitter account once news broke of the new deal.
"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," Wardle said on social media.
He also noted that he is working with the Times to ensure that win streaks are preserved for players amid the transition and that the game will remain free.
An update on Wordle pic.twitter.com/TmHd0AIRLX— Josh Wardle (@powerlanguish) January 31, 2022
"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," he wrote.
However, many on social media were less than thrilled by the news.
Seeing as the the Times is a major media powerhouse with almost one million online subscribers, many are concerned that the game will eventually be put behind a paywall and changed in a way that makes it a less joyful, simple experience.
Well this fucking sucks. You said it would be free to play for everyone yet...— Tanner LaFond (@tannerlafond) January 31, 2022
"The company said the game would initially remain free to new and existing players."https://t.co/nxpcAKQ2DP
Of course the guy who created Wordle sold it to the @NYTimes. And of course the New York Times is going to put it behind a paywall some time soon. Because (of course) everything is shit and we can't have anything nice. pic.twitter.com/UtQcCNJHrl— Kevin Bailey (@KevBaile) February 1, 2022
It's not going to be free for long https://t.co/YgyFAUr6TO— ᴮᴱRadiantLady (@radiantgirl) February 1, 2022
Josh I love you (and Wordle) so much but we all know that the new york times is going to destroy everything that made your game pure and great (free of adverts, paywalls, signins, tracking, etc.)— gay god advanced ™️ (@god_advanced) January 31, 2022
I'm saddened by this. While good for you for making $, telling my students that it will no longer be free at some pt will deflate them. I've managed to inspire a gaggle of 8th graders to get involved & become obsessed with Wordle.— Jen (@Wonder_star9) January 31, 2022
We had a good run, but let's face it, we're going to see this message pretty soon:— Varadhu Kutty (@KuttyVaradhu) January 31, 2022
"You have reached the limit of your free trial period for wordle. Please subscribe to NYT Games to continue to enjoy wordle, in addition to other NYT classics like crossword, mini, spelling bee"
Neither outlet clarified how long it would be until the game switches over to a subscription-based model, if it plans to do that at all.
According to the Times, the game brings in millions of players each day.
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