Is nothing sacred anymore? Wordle, the daily word game that provides millions with a reason to get up every morning, is being wrenched from our collective hands by The New York Times.
The media giant purchased the humble, no-frills game from its creator, Josh Wardle, for a price "in the low seven figures."
On Twitter, Wardle announced the acquisition with a formal statement explaining that the game's runaway success has been "a little overwhelming." A fan of the Times' own word puzzles (such as the weekly crossword and Spelling Bee), Wardle decided to pass the reigns to the publication.
The creator's statement also assured readers that, once relocated to The New York Times website, Wordle will remain "free to play for everyone."
However, the Times stated that the game will "initially remain free to new and existing players" (emphasis on "initially"), raising concerns that the hit will eventually become pay-walled.
Riffing on the possible monetization of the game, Wordle fans are suggesting some creative solutions for preserving its accessibility — all you need is a willing partner and lots of colored square emojis.
As terrifying as the prospect of pay-walled Wordle is, Wardle deserves major props for not only creating the game, but also its heart-warming origins.
A Brooklyn-based software engineer, Wardle initially dreamt up the puzzle for his word game-loving partner, Palak Shah. "It's really sweet," Shah told the Times. "This is definitely how Josh shows his love."
I can't exactly blame Wardle for getting his coin (seven figures!), especially when he set out with such pure intentions.
Let this be a lesson: do something nice for your partner, and you might just end up a millionaire.