The New York Times’ head of games has described Wordle as a “wonderful, fantastic game” with a “really distinctive, unique tale” after the newspaper acquires the famous online puzzle funds deposited same day.
The web-based game has become a big success in recent months.
Initially developed as a gift for a lover by British software programmer Josh Wardle, Wordle has grown to become an internet sensation with millions of daily users.
Jonathan Knight, general manager for gaming at The New York Times Company, told BBC Radio 4’s Today program: “I am shocked and thrilled – I believe this is a fantastic tale.”
“It’s a game that brought us all together, making it unique.” It’s one word every day, the same thing for everyone, and we’re all attempting to decipher it together.”
But who is Josh Wardle, the game’s creator?
Everything you need to know about him is included here.
What is Josh Wardle’s background?
Josh Wardle is a software programmer from Wales who resides in New York.
Wardle created the games for himself and his fiancée to play as a former Reddit employee who “were used to work in Silicon Valley.”
The 38-year-old was inspired to build the game when she and her husband “got very into the New York Times crossword puzzle.”
“I wanted to create a game that both her and I would enjoy playing business,” he remarked in an interview with Slate.
How did Wordle come to be?
Wardle began work on a prototype of Wordle about a decade ago in 2013, which, although technically similar, has some “significant variations.”
For example, players might progress to other problems immediately after completing one (the now-popular version gives everybody just one a day).
Wordle’s current daily answer is similarly derived from a relatively small selection of words – just 2,315 of the more than 12,000 five-letter English language words.
Wardle’s companion picked those terms, categorizing them as those she knew, those she did not know, and ones she could have known.
However, the prototype was not quite as polished.
“I just copied and pasted every five-letter term in the English language from whatever dictionary I could find online,” Wardle said. “Therefore, there were certain really esoteric terms in the English language that I was unfamiliar with.”
This resulted in a very different game, one in which players often ended up “brute-forcing” their way to the correct answer.
Wardle purposefully kept the game basic, with just one puzzle every day and no advertisements vying for the user’s attention.
Wardle claims that his experiences working in Silicon Valley influenced the game’s simplicity and ad-free experience.
“I’m aware of what you’re supposed to do with people’s attention, particularly with games,” he remarked. “Things like allowing them to play indefinitely, sending them to push messages, or requesting sign-up information.
“From a philosophical standpoint, I relish doing the polar opposite of all of those things, all of the things that you are not supposed to do.”
However, Wardle maintains that at the core of Wordle, he was “basically simply building a game for my partner, and I made certain choices that we liked.”
Who is his associate?
Little is known about Wardle’s spouse, for whom he invented Wordle in the first place.
We know that she goes by the name Palak Shah and is American, which famously ruffled the feathers of British players many weeks ago.
The word ‘favor’ was included as one of the game’s responses. However, it was spelled in American English and omitted the U from the British English form, making it a five-letter word.
Wardle notes that since he created the game for Shah, it is “very focused on what she knows and does not know.”
“‘How would you feel about just the favor thing?’ I asked her this morning. ‘I’m an American,’ she added. You made it specifically for me.'”
Why did he decide to sell it?
Wardle said he chose to sell the virtual puzzle when it got “overwhelming” to maintain.
He announced the takeover through Twitter, praising people for sharing heartwarming anecdotes about the game’s impact on their lives and relationships and expressing his delight at the takeover.
“The game has grown larger than I ever envisioned (which isn’t surprising considering that I created it for an audience of one),” he said.
“It’s been fantastic to see the game provide so much pleasure to so many people, and I’m so appreciative of the personal tales some of you have shared with me — from Wordle reconnecting distant family members to inciting friendly rivalries to assist with medical recovery.
“On the other hand, I’d be dishonest if I didn’t admit that this has been overwhelming.
“After all, I am just one person, and it is critical to me that Wordle continues to deliver an excellent experience for everyone as it expands.”
The New York Times said that the ad-free website was purchased for “in the low seven figures” and “the game would initially stay free to new and current players.”
How much money is he worth?
Despite selling the videogame for “in the lower seven figures,” Wardle’s net worth is estimated by BiographyDaily.com to be around $600,000 and $800,000.
This equates from around £442K to £590K.