You are currently viewing The Rise and Popularity: Wordle A Web Based Word Game [2023]

The Rise and Popularity: Wordle A Web Based Word Game [2023]

Spread the love
The Rise and Popularity of Wordle: A Web-Based Word Game

In October 2021, a simple web-based word game called Wordle a Web Based Word Game took the gaming world by storm. Created and developed by Welsh software engineer Josh Wardle, Wordle quickly gained a dedicated following of players who became obsessed with solving the daily word puzzles. The game’s mechanics are reminiscent of the classic pen-and-paper game Jotto and the popular television game show Lingo. In Wordle, players have six attempts to guess a five-letter word, receiving feedback for each guess in the form of colored tiles. This article explores the history, gameplay, and rise in popularity of Wordle, as well as its adaptations and clones.

The Rise and Popularity of Wordle: A Web-Based Word Game

The Gameplay of Wordle

Wordle presents players with a daily five-letter word that they must guess within six tries. After each guess, the game provides feedback by marking each letter as green, yellow, or gray. A green tile indicates that the letter is correct and in the correct position, while a yellow tile signifies that the letter is in the word but in the wrong position. Gray tiles indicate that the letter is not in the word at all. It’s important to note that if a guess contains multiple instances of the same letter, it will only be marked green or yellow if that letter appears multiple times in the answer.

The game also offers a “hard mode” option, where players must include the letters marked as green and yellow in subsequent guesses. This adds an extra level of challenge for seasoned Wordle players. Additionally, Wordle provides a dark theme and a high-contrast theme for colorblind accessibility.

The History of Wordle

Wordle’s journey began in 2013 when Josh Wardle created a prototype of the game inspired by the color-matching game Mastermind. However, he set aside the prototype and focused on other projects, including the creation of social experiments for Reddit. It wasn’t until January 2021 that Wardle revisited the Wordle prototype, drawing inspiration from The New York Times’ Spelling Bee and daily crossword puzzle. He refined the game’s design and published it on the web.

Wordle gained traction through word-of-mouth, with Wardle initially sharing it with close friends and relatives. However, it wasn’t until December 2021 that the game went viral on Twitter after Wardle added the ability for players to share their daily results as emoji squares. The game’s popularity skyrocketed, with over 300,000 people playing Wordle on January 2, 2022. The game’s viral success led to its acquisition by The New York Times Company in January 2022 for an undisclosed seven-figure sum.

The Rise in Popularity of Wordle

The dailiness of Wordle’s puzzles played a significant role in its rise in popularity. With only one puzzle available per day, players had a sense of scarcity and anticipation, which kept them coming back for more. The game’s short playtime of around three minutes per day also contributed to its addictive nature. Additionally, the ability to share daily results as emoji squares on Twitter led to widespread sharing and discussion of the game.

Wordle’s popularity extended beyond the game itself, with other games and adaptations inspired by its success. Clones and variations of Wordle emerged, including versions in different languages and games based on specific themes such as music, geography, and even a NSFW version for adults-only. These adaptations allowed players to enjoy similar gameplay with a unique twist.

The Acquisition by The New York Times Company

In January 2022, The New York Times Company acquired Wordle from Josh Wardle. The company saw the game’s potential to attract digital subscribers and integrated it into its mobile app alongside its crossword puzzles and Spelling Bee. The acquisition brought tens of millions of new players to The New York Times’ puzzle site and app. The game remained free for all users, with no changes made to its gameplay initially.

Wordle’s move to The New York Times’ website in February 2022 ensured its continued accessibility to players. However, the game underwent some changes, including the removal of potentially offensive or insensitive words from the list of possible answers. The New York Times also made adjustments to the game to keep it separate from current events and to maintain its integrity as a puzzle game.

Adaptations and Clones of Wordle

Following Wordle’s sudden rise in popularity, numerous clones and adaptations of the game emerged. Some clones modified the gameplay formula, introducing adversarial versions where the target word changes with each guess. Other clones retained the mechanics of Wordle but changed the words players needed to guess, including translations into different languages and themed versions based on specific topics like swear words or NFL players.


Wordle’s simple yet addictive gameplay and its daily word puzzles have captivated players worldwide. From its humble beginnings as a prototype, the game’s popularity soared thanks to its dailiness, easy sharing of results, and engaging gameplay mechanics. The acquisition of Wordle by The New York Times Company further solidified its place in the gaming world. With adaptations and clones adding new twists to the gameplay, Wordle continues to provide a fun and challenging word game experience for players of all levels.

Leave a Reply