The head of games at The New York Times has remarked that the famous online puzzle game Wordle is a “wonderful, fantastic game” with a “really distinctive, unique tale.” This statement was made after the revelation that the American newspaper had purchased the puzzle website.
The game on the internet has become extremely popular during the past several months.
Wordle was first developed as a gift for Josh Wardle's spouse by a British software programmer named Josh Wardle. Today, the website boasts millions of active users daily.
Jonathan Knight, the general manager for games at The New York Times Company, was interviewed on the Today show on BBC Radio 4 and stated, “I think it's a wonderful tale. I am astounded by it, and I am very impressed.”
“It's a game that brought us all together, and that's what makes it so great,” said the player, referring to the team's accomplishment. It's one word every day, and it's the same word for everyone, and we're all working together to figure it out.
But who is Josh Wardle, the designer of this video game? Everything you need to know about him is included in this list.
Who Exactly is This Josh Wardle?
Josh Wardle is a software developer born in Wales but currently resides in New York.
Wardle, who was once employed at Reddit, a social news and debate website, and who “used to work in Silicon Valley,” was the one who first developed the game so that he and his partner could play it.
The pair “became very into the New York Times crossword,” which sparked the 38-year-idea old's for the game, which is virtually identical to the pen-and-paper game Jotto and the American television game show Lingo. The game is substantially similar to both of these games.
In an interview with Slate, he provided the following explanation: “I wanted to try designing a game that she and I would like playing together, and as a result, Wordle was the result of that.”
How Did the Wordle Project Get Started?
Although it was mechanically similar to the final product, the prototype Wordle that Wardle worked on over a decade ago in 2013 displayed some “significant changes” from the final product.
For instance, after a player had solved one puzzle, they were allowed to go to the next one as soon as it became available (the now-popular version gives everybody just one a day).
In the modern version of Wordle, the daily solution is similarly compiled from a relatively small pool of words; specifically, just 2,315 of the more than 12,000 five-letter English language words.
The question words were decided upon by Wardle's companion, who arranged them according to which ones she knew, which ones she did not know, and which ones she may have known.
However, the prototype lacked a lot of polish.
“I threw every five-letter term in the English language from whatever dictionary I found online,” said Wardle. “I don't even know what they mean half the time.” “There were some arcane phrases in the English language that I had never come across before,” the speaker said.
Because of this, the game took a radically different direction, becoming one in which players frequently “brute-forced” their way to the correct answer. Wardle decided to keep the game purposefully straightforward by limiting the number of puzzles to one every day, eliminating in-game advertisements, and keeping the game's time commitment to a minimum.
According to Wardle, his skills while working in Silicon Valley contributed to the game's development into the straightforward, ad-free experience it is now.
He explained, “I am aware of the things that, particularly with games, you are expected to do with people's attention.” Examples of this include unlimited play, giving them push alerts, or asking them for sign-up information.
“From a philosophical standpoint, I find it enjoyable to act in a manner that is opposed to all of those things, to carry out all of the activities that one is not expected to carry out.” But Wardle claims he was “basically just building a game for my partner, and I made certain decisions that we would appreciate” when he created Wordle.
Who is His Partner?
There is not much information regarding Wardle's partner, for whom he first developed Wordle. What we know about her is that her name is Palak Shah, and she is American. This is a fact that notoriously ruffled the feathers of British players a few weeks ago.
The word “favor” was one of the options for players to select. However, the American spelling was used rather than the British English version's form with the U included. This was done so that the word would consist of five letters.
Wardle notes that because he designed the game for Shah, “it's focused on what she knows and doesn't know.” This is because Wardle created the game just for Shah.
“How do you feel about the favored thing?” was the topic of our conversation this morning when I called her. Then she said, “I'm from the United States.” You were the one who designed the game for me.'”
Why Did He Decide to Sell It?
Wardle has stated that he decided to sell the virtual puzzle after it grew to an “overwhelming” size and became difficult to manage.
He announced on Twitter, thanking people for sharing heartfelt anecdotes about the game's impact on their lives and relationships. He also said he was “thrilled” about the company's acquisition.
He shared his thoughts, stating, “The game has gone bigger than I ever expected (which I suppose isn't that much of an achievement given that I designed the game for an audience of one).”
“It has been incredible to see the game bring so much joy to so many people, and I am so grateful for the personal stories that some of you have shared with me. These stories range from Wordle bringing together distant family members, to inciting friendly rivalries, to supporting medical recoveries. I am so thankful.”
“On the other hand, I wouldn't be telling the truth if I said this hasn't been overbearing. “I am just one person, and it is vital to me that as Wordle expands, it continues to deliver a terrific experience to everyone,” she said. “After all, I am just one person.”
According to the New York Times, the ad-free website was purchased for an amount “in the low seven figures.” The newspaper also stated that “the game will initially stay free to new and existing players.”
What is His Net Worth?
Although Wardle sold the game for a price “in the low seven figures,” BiographyDaily.com believes his net worth is between $600,000 and $800,000. That ranges from around $442k to $590k.