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New York Times Buys Wordle in Push to Expand Games Business

(Bloomberg) – The New York Times acquired Wordle, adding the popular daily word phenomenon to the newspaper company’s expanding portfolio of games and puzzles. The price wasn’t disclosed, but the Times said it paid in “the low-seven figures.”

Wordle gives players six tries to guess a five-letter mystery word. It was created by Josh Wardle, a software engineer in Brooklyn. Since its debut in October, it has caught fire, with users posting on social media how many guesses it took them to solve the word. The game has millions of daily players, according to the Times. It will initially remain free to new and existing players, the Times said, raising concerns it may eventually go behind a paywall.

The Times is focusing on games as a way to diversify its revenue sources. With Donald Trump’s chaotic presidency over, the newspaper has warned that subscriber growth won’t continue at the rate recorded in 2020.

In December, the Times crossed 1 million subscriptions to its games, which include “Spelling Bee” and crossword puzzles.

(Adds in third paragraph that game will initially remain free to play.)

© 2022 Bloomberg L.P.

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