Upside: You can play it on an app.
The popular word game Wordle has been dominating conversations and social media feeds ever since the Twitter-sharing method launched in late 2021. The once-per-day, free-to-play puzzle is a new simple pleasure in many people’s daily routines, but The New York Times announced its acquisition of the game on Jan. 31, 2022, for an undisclosed price in the “low-seven figures.” That can only mean big changes (and charges) are coming, right? If you’re wondering whether The New York Times’ Wordle version will be free, here’s how you can expect to play after the switch.
Wordle was developed and created by software developer Josh Wardle in October 2021 for his puzzle-loving partner, Palak Shah. The game is free to play online, and the objective is to guess the five letter Word of the Day in six tries or less, but the game doesn’t provide any clues — the only help you’re given are the gray, yellow, and green tiles that pop up after each guess.
On Monday, Jan. 31, The New York Times announced its acquisition of Wordle for an undisclosed price in the “low-seven figures.”
Word of the acquisition was an immediate cause for concern for fans of the daily puzzle, and left players with many questions like whether or not the game would be put behind a paywall, how the move will affect their saved scores, and more.
Is New York Times’ Wordle version free?
Jordan Cohen, Executive Director, Communications at The New York Times, tells Elite Daily Wordle will be “free to play for new and existing players, and no changes will be made to its gameplay” when the game first makes the transition to NYT Games. This matches up with The New York Times’ report that the game would “initially” remain free, but what does that mean for the future? It might not be as bad as you think.
The future of Wordle at NYT isn’t set yet. “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,” Cohen says.
FWIW, as Feb. 2, a NYT Games subscription costs $1.25 per week (paid monthly) or $40 per year (paid yearly).
When will Wordle move to The New York Times?
According to Cohen, the “precise timeline” of Wordle’s NYT switch hasn’t been established yet, but as of Feb. 2, he says the word puzzle is expected to move over to The New York Times domain “very shortly.”
Where can you find New York Times’ Wordle game?
What will happen to the Wordle website?
Until the official move happens, users can still play on the Wordle website. After the switch, the existing Wordle link will redirect players to NYT Games.
What about your Wordle stats?
As for your coveted Wordle stats, your streaks will work as they normally do “for the moment,” but Cohen didn’t provide any further details about what to expect once the game moves to NYT.
Though you can’t know for sure (yet) that you’ll never have to pay to play Wordle, it’s safe to say there’s no need to worry about any immediate changes to the Wordle experience as it makes the shift to The New York Times.