Developer brags about copying Wordle for profit and is quickly embarrassed

Wordle, the browser word puzzle game your friends are likely to play, is sure to be the first big sensation of 2022. With so many people either playing it or asking what it is, it probably isn’t a good idea to tear it down and then get on with it indicate it online.

Here is a little background. Wordle is a puzzle game in which you have to guess a five-letter word correctly in six attempts every day. It was Created by software engineer Josh Wardle for his wife who loves puns. Wardle said he never wanted to make any money on Wordle, so it’s a free browser game.

Photo credit: Twitter

Photo credit: Twitter

Then there is Zach Shakked, who proudly shared on Twitter earlier this week that he loves Wordle so much that he just did it all over again and put it on the App Store with the same name, Wordle. Aside from being able to guess four, six, and seven letter words, the (not original) Wordle is essentially the same game and user interface.

Although copycat apps are widespread, they rarely use the same name. But considering that Wardle made this game for his wife and had no intention of making a profit, he likely didn’t file a copyright claim on the name of the game.

This led to (not original) Wordle collecting 12,000 downloads in the App Store overnight and, according to Shakked, becoming the fourth highest result for the term “Wordle”. In his words: “We’re going to the damn moon.”

Because while Wardle offers a free browser version, Shakked offers a paid “Pro version” that offers players unlimited playing time. The backlash has been quick as it doesn’t look good for someone to brag about benefiting from someone else’s success. Shakked has now made his Twitter account private.

Engineer Andy Baio, who shared Shakked’s boastful tweets about how he benefited from Wordle (not original), says Wardle’s game itself is not original – with roots dating back to the 1980s word game Lingo – wholesaling Shakked’s version Names and user interface copied that Wardle made come from.

IGN contacted Shakked, but in the meantime, you can play that Original Wordle here and read IGN’s Wordle Beginner’s Guide for some helpful tips.

Matt TM Kim is the news editor for IGN. You can reach him @lawofd.

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