The word of the day is “party,” apparently.
In a quarterly earnings report in May, the Times said the acquisition has brought the media company “an unprecedented tens of millions of new users, many of whom stayed to play other games.”
Hasbro approached the New York Times to make the board game, Adam Biehl, the senior vice president and general manager for Hasbro Gaming, told CNN Business, after the board game company noticed how popular Wordle had become. Biehl said the party game is one of the fastest launches the company has ever undertaken.
Fans of the word game will notice that the rules for the in-person party game are a bit different. In the board game, players take turns coming up with five-letter words — like “print” or “paper” — and the other players attempt to guess the word in the fewest number of tries. Like the original game, players will be awarded yellow and green tiles if they use a letter in the correct word. But, unlike the original, players will be competing against each other. Players score points each round for the number of attempts it takes them to correctly guess a word. The player with the fewest points at the end of the game wins. The game comes equipped with whiteboards to maximize replayability.
The creator of Wordle, Josh Wardle, originally designed the game as a side project for his partner, who loves to play word games. Wardle decided to publicly host the game last October. By early January, more than 2 million people played Wordle every day. In a statement posted on Twitter after the Times acquired the game, Wardle wrote that while it has been “incredible to watch a game bring so much joy to many,” it has also “been a little overwhelming. After all, I am just one person.”
Wordle has brought on a mania of word-game alternatives, all inspired by the original. The two-player game Word Fight combines Wordle’s original concept with the back-and-forth of Words With Friends. Then there’s Worldle — note the extra “l” — which gives players six tries to guess a country or territory based on an outline of its shape. The National Gallery of Art created Artle as a copycat for art fans. And for music lovers, there’s Heardle, which plays the first second of a song and asks users to guess what it is.
On Tuesday, Spotify acquired Heardle for an undisclosed amount of money.
The Times and Hasbro plan to release the board game version of Wordle in October. You can preorder the boxed set at Amazon and Target for $19.99.