The New York Times Company has acquired the popular word game Wordle. The deal was closed with an undisclosed amount.
Wordle is an extremely popular word guessing game. Created as a pet project by Josh Wardle, it skyrocketed to popularity in 2 months.
But, the current acquisition also puts the existing users at concern. There is a looming threat of the free game getting imprisoned behind a PayWall.
The New York Times buys Wordle
“The company said the game would initially remain free to new and existing players.”https://t.co/rlpkE3nbhg
— philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) January 31, 2022
Hence, there has been uproar on Social media. But, the probability of the threat coming true is definitely positive.
The newspaper agency stated it acquired the game from the creator at “low seven figures”. Furthermore, they stated the following:
” The Game(wordle) would initially remain free for new and existing users.
If we are to take the writing word for word, it means there is a subscription-based format incoming. Simply, it means that Wordle would not be free to play anymore in a few weeks from now.
New York Times acquired Wordle yesterday with an undisclosed amount.
How Millenials Killed Wordle.
— Card F Rome (@CarFRome) January 31, 2022
After creating Wordle to play with his pals, software engineer Josh Wardle unleashed it on the world in October. Within months it grew into a global miracle. Celebrities such as Trevor Noah joined the bandwagon.
“I would be lying if I said this hasn’t been a little overwhelming. After all, I’m just one person, and it’s important to me that, as Wordle grows, it continues to provide a great experience to everyone.”
-Wardle said in a post on Twitter.
The Times says it expects the deal to broaden its digital content. The Agency continues to try to push the target of 10 million subscribers by 2025.
The news agency is an early adopter of the paywall when it started digital subscription plans back in 2011. That strategy helped it buck the trend of falling print profits and raise a digital business.
Wordle is a unique word puzzle game created by Josh Wardle.
Jiffy, the Wordle guy said it’s gonna continue to be free 😎 https://t.co/E33Rlj0EpB
— Nishant (@nishantvatsal) January 31, 2022
It has also bought into other digital media. The catalogue includes subscription-based audio app Audm and product review website Wirecutter. Prior month they concurred to pay $550 million in cash for sports point The Athletic.
As the NY Times also seeks to grow paid readers outside its core news content. Hence, games and puzzles have become a crucial part of a strategy to keep its subscribers and audience engaged on its apps and websites.
Its Games unit, which has further than one million subscriptions, started with the Daily Crossword. Thereafter, they launched games like Spelling Bee, Tiles, Letter-Boxed and Vertex.
Wordle is not the only acquisition that NY Times has eyes on. We will know more as time progresses.