Zach Gage and Orta Therox’s puzzle platform Puzzmo acquired by Hearst Newspapers

Gage is the dev behind SpellTower, Wordbind, Knotwords and more

Date Type Companies involved Size
December 11th, 2023 acquisition Hearst
Zach Gage
Not disclosed
Zach Gage and Orta Therox’s puzzle platform Puzzmo acquired by Hearst Newspapers

Media conglomerate Hearst Newspapers has acquired games developer Zach Gage’s collaborative puzzle platform Puzzmo - a platform containing web-based versions of his extensive games catalogue.

Gage is behind word games like SpellTower, Wordbind and the minimalist Knotwords, with other works including Good Sudoku and Sage Solitaire.

Playing word games spent three years in development by founders Zach Gage and Orta Therox, designed as a hub for daily puzzle fans. The genre has risen to prominence in recent years with Wordle leading the pack.

After Wordle’s rise, many similar titles were quickly snapped up in the mobile space, including AppLovin’s purchase of Wordle! (note the exclamation mark) and Spotify’s acquisition of Heardle.

As for Puzzmo, the puzzle platform offers a connection between players and games on the service with a universal points system, achievements and more. Games include daily challenges like crosswords and chess, with plenty to choose from across Gage's catalogue.

Its waiting list opened in October with 500 "access keys" made available to eager word enthusiasts each day, and since then more than one million people have attempted to gain access.

"Puzzmo’s design was inspired by traditional newspaper games. As an icon in the newspaper industry, we’re proud to have Hearst as our long-term partner," said Gage.

"The power, flexibility and scalability of what we’ve built makes it a smart choice for publishers, and we’re excited to reach so many players across Hearst’s audience," said Therox.

And while now purchased by Hearst, Gage and Therox will remain at the helm, leading game development and technology on Puzzmo. Through the acquisition, fans will now be able to access the puzzles on and on Hearst’s websites.

"Zach and Orta are truly innovators, and we are thrilled to partner with them on the launch of Puzzmo," said Hearst Newspapers president Jeffrey Johnson in the announcement. "Puzzmo brings all the challenges of traditional newspaper puzzles to a new level of design, collaboration and interactivity, and we believe they will become a daily habit for our readers across the country."

Of course, while also appearing on the web, puzzle games find a comfortable home on mobile too. The genre has generated $42 billion in revenue in 2023 while also proving to be the king of retention rates.

News Editor

Aaron is the News Editor at and has an honours degree in Creative Writing.
Having spent far too many hours playing Pokémon, he's now on a quest to be the very best like no one ever putting words in the right order.