The New York Times’ Games division has acquired popular free web game Wordle for a 'low seven figure' sum.
Created in October 2021 by software engineer Josh Wardle, the daily word game is completely free and features no in-app purchases or advertisements.
The game’s rapid growth in popularity quickly gave rise to the release of multiple clone games on the App Store, however, these were quickly removed by Apple.
Following the acquisition, Wardle has stated that the game will remain free to play, however, The New York Times has said that the game will remain "initially free to play for new and existing users". As The Times operates a subscription service for its games app, there is a possibility that Wordle will join the paid service in the future.
"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," said Wardle.
"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."
New York Times Games general manager Johnathon Knight commented: "As part of our portfolio of games, Wordle will have an exciting future with the help of a team of talented engineers, designers, editors, and more, furthering the user experience."
The New York Times stated that its games were played over 500 million times in 2021, and it is looking at Wordle to boost this number further.