NYT Buys Popular Word Game For Seven-Figure Sum

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Harry Wilmerding Contributor
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The New York Times purchased a popular word game Monday for an undisclosed amount in the low seven-figure range, The New York Times Company announced.

The word game app Wordle was acquired from its creator, Josh Wardle, reflecting the NYT’s effort to increase its digital subscriptions to 10 million by 2025, the company reported.

“If you’re like me, you probably wake up every morning thinking about Wordle, and savoring those precious moments of discovery, surprise and accomplishment. 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 NYT Games, said in a press release.

“We could not be more thrilled to become the new home and proud stewards of this magical game, and are honored to help bring Josh Wardle’s cherished creation to more solvers in the months ahead,” Knight said.

Wordle exploded in popularity since its release in October 2021. The app had roughly 90 users when first released, and now millions play the game daily, the NYT Company said in its press release. (RELATED: Tech Giant To Buy Video Game Company For Almost $70 Billion)

“If you’ve followed along with the story of Wordle, you’ll know that New York Times Games play a big part in its origins, and so this step feels very natural to me,” Wardle said in the press release. “I’ve long admired The Times’s approach to the quality of 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.

The NYT added that the app would remain free of cost to new and existing players.

This acquisition comes shortly after the NYT agreed to purchase the sports news outlet The Athletic for $550 million in an additional push to reach its 10 million subscriber goal.

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