The New York Times buys Wordle for an undisclosed sum

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Wordle is now part of The New York Times. The news publisher announced the acquisition on Monday.

Arguably the most popular word game at the moment – more so than even the venerable New York Times crossword puzzle -- Wordle sold for, according to The New York Times, "in the low seven figures".

Created by Josh Wardle to entertain him and his wife during the pandemic, Wordle is a deceptively simple word game that asks you to guess a daily five-letter word. The five-by-six play grid offers six turns. With each turn, you can guess a word (it must be a real word). The online-only game (there is no app), tells you which letters are correct and in the right place (a green square), which are correct but in the wrong place (yellow square), and which letter's don't belong at all (gray square).

As Omicron rose, millions bonded over their daily Wordle scores, which you can share on social media without revealing the puzzle solution. 

Wordle captivated players with its simplicity, and, perhaps, because it was designed by Wardle, a former Silicon Valley worker, to be the opposite of most viral games and social media coming out of the valley. It also spawned countless knock-offs and guides on strategy. There was even an unsanctioned naughty version.

The New York Times plans to keep Wordle free for now, but who knows how long that will last. While you can read a handful of Times articles for free each month, The New York Times crossword puzzle is for subscribers only. Just how long will it be before your daily obsession is behind a paywall?

The news of Wordle's acquisition comes on the heels of other breaking news, Sony's $3.6 billion dollar acquisition of Bungie. That's a much bigger deal, obviously, but for Wordle fans, this is the GIANT story.

Lance Ulanoff
Editor At Large

A 38-year industry veteran and award-winning journalist, Lance has covered technology since PCs were the size of suitcases and “on line” meant “waiting.” He’s a former Lifewire Editor-in-Chief, Mashable Editor-in-Chief, and, before that, Editor in Chief of and Senior Vice President of Content for Ziff Davis, Inc. He also wrote a popular, weekly tech column for Medium called The Upgrade.

Lance Ulanoff makes frequent appearances on national, international, and local news programs including Live with Kelly and Ryan, the Today Show, Good Morning America, CNBC, CNN, and the BBC.