Software engineer Josh Wardle posted an update about his game on Tuesday morning.
“It has been incredible to watch a game bring so much joy to so many,” he wrote.
“And I feel so grateful for the personal stories some of you have shared with me – from Wordle uniting distant family members, to provoking friendly rivalries, to supporting medical recoveries.
“On the flip side, I’d be lying if I said this hasn’t been a little overwhelming.
“After all, I am just one person, and it is important to me that, as Wordle grows, it continues to provide a great experience to everyone.”
Wordle has been a unique internet sensation, praised for its design elements including gameplay that is simple yet carries depth, and a widespread shareability which has made Wordle a viral hit.
Every day, you are given a new five-letter word to guess from a maximum of six attempts. For each guess, the game will tell if you if you any letters were correct and whether or not they were in the right location.
Once you have finished the puzzle, you can share their results with a feature that uses emojis (green and yellow colour squares) to represent how well you went.
An update on Wordle pic.twitter.com/TmHd0AIRLX— Josh Wardle (@powerlanguish) January 31, 2022
The ease of sharing combined with Wordle’s synchronised gameplay – everyone has the same puzzle at the same time – has caused social feeds to fill up with people posting their Wordle scores, and collectively lamenting the days when a tricky or obscure word popped up.
Wardle said he “reached an agreement” with the New York Times that will see the game remain free to play.
“And I am working with them to make sure your wins and streaks will be preserved,” he added.
Amazingly, Wardle hadn’t monetised his game prior to its sale; it didn't feature any ads or donation buttons.
This was because Wardle hadn’t built his game to make money or even become the viral hit it is today.
Wordle was instead a labour of love – something Wardle built for his word-game-loving partner; a fun distraction from the pandemic that used his name as a pun and was quickly popular in the family WhatsApp group.
“The game has gotten bigger than I ever imagined (which I suppose isn’t that much of a feat given I made the game for an audience of 1),” Wardle said in his update on Tuesday morning.
“Thank you all for playing and making Wordle an unforgettable experience.”