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Wordle, the game that has become a social media sensation of late, has just been acquired by the New York Times. The sizeable deal has stoked a conversation online, with some wondering if their access to the game will remain the same.

On Monday (January 31st), the New York Times announced that their Games department had acquired the immensely popular word-guessing game, which made its debut last October. In their statement, they revealed that their purchase price was an “undisclosed price in the low seven figures.” Created by Josh Wardle, a software designer who resides in Brooklyn, New York, Wordle is a daily puzzle game in which the player attempts to guess a five-letter word in six tries. Then, players can share their results – which consist of a grid of green, black, and yellow boxes – with others on social media.

“We could not be more thrilled to become the new home and proud stewards of this magical game, and are honored to help bring Josh Wardle’s cherished creation to more solvers in the months ahead,” wrote Jonathan Knight, the Times general manager for games in the announcement release. Wardle got to share his own thoughts about the deal via a statement released through his Twitter account later that afternoon. He expressed how pleased he was that Wordle, inspired by his partner’s love for word games, gained such broad appeal even with all the sudden publicity. “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.”, he said.

For fans of the game, the news of the Times’ acquisition of Wordle did set the scene for mixed reactions. Wordle is currently available to play for free, as Wardle initially didn’t wish to monetize access by implementing advertising or requiring a subscription. Some felt that the Times would opt to change that by placing it behind a paywall as is customary for newspapers online these days.

In their announcement, the Times wrote,  “Wordle will be free to play for new and existing players, and no changes will be made to its gameplay.”

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