Created and developed by Welsh software engineer Josh Wardle, the word game Wordle has made a huge name within a short period since its initial release in 2021. With this, it is no surprise that it caught the attention of The Times, resulting in its acquisition at “an undisclosed price in the low seven figures.” The investment, fortunately, seems to be a favorable choice for the British daily national newspaper. In the announcement of its quarterly earnings on May 4, the company was vocal about the game’s contribution to the increase of its new subscriber numbers. “… Wordle brought an unprecedented tens of millions of new users to The Times,” reads Times CEO Meredith Kopit Levien’s statement in the company’s press release, “many of whom stayed to play other games which drove our best quarter ever for net subscriber additions to Games….”
Wordle has joined Time’s other game offers, namely Tiles, Spelling Bee, Sudoku, Vertex, Letter Boxed, The Mini, and The Crossword. The company has a games subscription, which promises more than 10,000 crosswords, but Wordle remains free for non-subscribers. In the earnings call, it didn’t mention anything about its plan to turn it into a paid service, but, of course, the possibility remains. After all, the game is still being patronized by a lot of individuals and shared on various platforms like Twitter. In fact, the data provided by Twitter earlier this year showed that there had been 1.7 million tweets with the word “Wordle” since its release.
Currently, the game remains the same, except for some little detail changes made by its new owner, such as removing some obscure words, changing its URL, and putting suggestions to try other games owned by Times. Surprisingly, Times looks happy with the current state of the game and the effects it is bringing to its business. In the press release, though it didn’t specify the extent of Wordle’s contribution to the good news, it said that there were additional 387,000 net digital-only subscribers last quarter. “The Times now has 9.1 million total subscribers, with 10.4 million subscriptions,” Levien said. “Overall revenue grew more than 13 percent in the quarter, with digital subscription revenue up approximately 26 percent and total advertising revenue up almost 20 percent.”