In the beginning, there was Wordle. And there was much posting of coloured cubes on Twitter, and rejoicing. Then came The New York Times and a purchase in the “low seven-figures”. And there was much Right-Click-and-Saving in the land.
At the time, changes to the guessing game were expected. Wordle was to remain free-to-play for a time, but there was always a chance that it would require a login or a subscription to access once The New York Times figured out what to do with its new toy.
Wordle Archive goes away
The first official enforcement of the NYT‘s new authoritah has come in the form of Wordle Archive‘s shutdown. The archive used to let players replay previous days, a feature that the ‘original’ word game doesn’t include. The website makes it clear that its shutdown was at the behest of The New York Times.
A representative, speaking to Ars Technica, confirmed this. They said, “The usage was unauthorized, and we were in touch with them. We don’t plan to comment beyond that.”
It’s suggested that the various clones of the popular game might be next in the firing line. Other archives (like this one right here) might also find themselves asked ‘nicely’ to shut down operations. American trademark and copyright law in particular is a strange beastie and many of the spinoffs of the game (like Wortle) should be fine. Unless, that is, they use the word ‘Wordle’ or have a ‘dle’ suffix in their title. Then, they’re likely to face potential legal action, should the NYT decide it wants to protect this thing it just paid for.
Whether that’ll actually happen isn’t certain. “We don’t have set plans for the game’s future,” a company spokesperson said. “We’re focused on continuing to make Wordle a great daily puzzle.”
Source: Ars Technica