The New York Times has purchased the viral word game “Wordle” for an amount in the “low seven figures.”
The Times owns a large collection of games and puzzles including Spelling Bee, Letter Box, and The Crossword.
The popular puzzle game was released in October and went viral as players constantly shared their daily results on social media.
On Monday, the Times announced their latest acquisition.
The announcement stated that it “reflects the growing importance of games, like crosswords and Spelling Bee, in the company’s quest to increase digital subscriptions to 10 million by 2025.”
The game will “initially remain free to new and existing players”— according to the statement.
“Wordle was acquired from its creator, Josh Wardle, a software engineer in Brooklyn, for a price ‘in the low seven figures,” The Times said.
Wardle explained why he sold the game in a statement posted to social media.
An update on Wordle pic.twitter.com/TmHd0AIRLX
— Josh Wardle (@powerlanguish) January 31, 2022
“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,” he said. “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.”
Wardle claimed that he is working with them to preserve win streaks for players.
“The Times remains focused on becoming the essential subscription for every English-speaking person seeking to understand and engage with the world,” the company statement said. “New York Times Games are a key part of that strategy.”
According to the Times, their collection of games were played 500 million times last year. Over a million people have subscriptions for their games.