Daily word puzzler Wordle seemed to barrel into the spotlight out of nowhere. Tiny coloured squares popped up all over social media and creator Josh Wardle found himself with a tidy payday after selling the game to the New York Times. People were worried that the game would become littered with ads or paywalled, but for the most part, NYT seems to have largely left the game as-is. Unfortunately though, it now also seems to be targeting Wordle-adjacent third party sites.
The aptly named Wordle Archive has been keeping track of old Wordle puzzles, keeping them organised for free if players ever missed a day or wanted to go back and play old puzzles (thanks, NME). With Wordle reaching its 270th day on March 16, there was a wealth of guessable words for people to return to. But this week, NYT took the page down for unknown reasons.
Now, attempting to visit the website will throw up the message: “Thank you for playing the Wordle Archive, and for all your nice comments and feedback that helped make the site better. Sadly, the New York Times has requested that the Wordle Archive be taken down.”
It’s the first third-party site around Wordle to be taken down by the New York Times. Whether it’ll start going after the various Wordle spin-offs like Heardle and Lewdle remains to be seen. Some players remain unhappy about the NYT’s ownership of the game, and have gone as far as to already save the remaining library of words in the original Wordle in case the paper ever decides to paywall it.