Dev brags about copying Wordle for profit, quickly gets ashamed [Update]
Update 1/12 10:09 am PT: According to The Verge, the App Store has started removing cloned apps that use the name Worlde in the title. This news follows recent coverage of developers taking advantage of Wordle’s free-to-play nature and capitalizing on its popularity.
While some imitation apps remain on the App Store, Apple appears to be specifically removing games that use the title “Worldle” as creator Josh Wardle refused to protect the copyrights of his popular puzzle word game. because it was meant to be a gift for his wife.
Original story: Wordle, the browser-based puzzle game your friends are probably playing, is easily the first big sensation of 2022. With so many people playing it or asking what it is, it’s probably not a good idea. to rip him off and then brag he online.
Here is a little history. Wordle is a puzzle game where every day you have to correctly guess a five-letter word in six tries. It was created by software engineer Josh Wardle for his wife who loves word games. Wardle said he never wanted to make money with Wordle, hence the reason it’s a free browser game.
Then there’s Zach Shakked who proudly shared earlier this week on Twitter that he loved Wordle so much that he just remade it and put it on the App Store using the same name, Wordle. Besides the ability to guess four, six and seven letter words, the Wordle (not original) is essentially the same game and interface.
Although copy apps are quite common, they rarely use the same name. But given that Wardle made this game for his wife and had no intention of making a profit, he probably didn’t file a copyright claim on the name of the game.
This led to (not original) Wordle on the App Store garnering 12,000 overnight downloads and becoming the fourth highest score for the term “Wordle” according to Shakked. In his words, “We’re going to the fucking moon.”
There have been games with similar mechanics dating back to at least the 19th century – the 1980s game show Lingo was far from the first – but this guy plagiarized Wordle’s name and interface as a seizure of naked silver.
– Andy Baio (@waxpancake) January 11, 2022
Because while Wardle offers a free browser version, Shakked offers a paid “Pro version” that gives players unlimited play time. The backlash was quick, as it’s not a great look for someone to brag about enjoying someone else’s success. Shakked has since made his Twitter account private.
Engineer Andy Baio, who shared Shakked’s boastful tweets about taking advantage of Wordle (not original), says that while Wardle’s game itself is not original – with roots going back to the game 1980s Word Word Lingo – Shakked’s version roughly copies the name and interface Wardle did come from.
IGN has reached out to Shakked, but in the meantime you can play the original Wordle here and check out IGN’s Wordle Beginner’s Guide for some helpful tips.
Matt TM Kim is the editor-in-chief of IGN. You can reach it @lawoftd.