Little fanfare has been made around the acquisition, but the Quordle website now redirects to its own space on the Merriam-Webster website, with Quordle creator Freddie Meyer quietly issuing this statement at the top of the page. Quordle tutorial section:
I am pleased to announce that Quordle has been acquired by Merriam-Webster! I can’t think of a better home for this game. Lots of new features and fun are coming, so stay tuned!
Quordle is one of several knockoffs that emerged in the wake of Wordle’s rise to world fame. Wordle, for the uninitiated, is a simple web-based game that gives users six attempts to guess a five-letter word, with color-coded clues that act as feedback if they get one of the letters correct. The New York Times bought Wordle last January for a seven-figure sum, and in the intervening months the game has apparently attracted millions of new subscribers to NYT Games’ offerings. The media giant later integrated Wordle into its crossword app and even turned Wordle into a physical board game.
It’s also worth noting that Spotify bought a Wordle-inspired music guessing game called Heardle last summer, if we needed any more proof of Wordle’s long-lasting cultural and technological impact.
Quordle, for its part, builds on Wordle’s basic concept, except it requires guessing four five-letter words at a time, with just nine attempts. Each guess must be a real word and each guess applies to each of the four words. The tiles change color to tell the user which guess is correct and whether there is a letter in that word but in a different position.
Wordle wakes up
After arriving on site last Februaryjust a month after the NYT, Quordle had reportedly called up 1 million players within two months. But similar to Wordle, Quordle was little more than a passion project, with creator Meyer saying he “had no plans to monetize Quordle,” according to reports at the time. That said, the developers have placed some ads on the page as an alternative to asking for donations to cover costs.
Fast forward to today, and Quordle is now owned by Merriam-Webster, a brand that has evolved beyond the foundations of the printed dictionary that began nearly two centuries ago with the first website in 1996, followed by numerous tangential language-focused digital services such as vocabulary app for kids. One of the online properties is a NYT style Games & Quizzes portal, where Quordle will now reside.
“We are pleased to announce that Merriam-Webster has acquired Quordle, the hugely popular word game and a favorite of Merriam-Webster’s editors,” Merriam-Webster President Greg Barlow said in a statement to TechCrunch. “It will be a great addition to our line-up of games and quizzes, and we look forward to playing together with the millions of Quordle fans every day.”