Analyzing the Wordle Phenomenon: A Deep Dive Case Study


About Company 

Wordle is a web-oriented word game designed and generated by Wales-based software engineer Josh Wardle. The New York Times Company acquired it in 2022 and has since kept it up and released it.

The participants of this game can have six tries to presume a 5-letter word. Advice is provided for every presumption as tinted tiles signal once letters tally or fill the right place.

The game’s technicalities are almost similarto Jotto, the pen-and-paper game launched in 1955, and Lingo, the TV game show dealer. The game Wordle features a complete day-to-day solution where all the participants try to presume the matching word.

Wardle produced the game for his collaborator and himself to participate in, ultimately turning it public in October 2021.

Wordle garnered considerable fame in December 2021 once the game incorporated the facility for participants to replicate their everyday outcomes in emoji blocks, which were extensively circulated on Twitter.

Severalcopies and variants of the game were generated as well, as were editions in languages other than English. The New York Times Company took over the game in January 2022 for an unrevealed 7-figure amount, with strategies to maintain it complimentary for all participants. It got shifted to the official website of the firm in February 2022.

Who is the developer of Wordle?

The developer of the word game is Josh Wardle.

Who are the publishers of the game?

The publishers of the game are the following:

  • 2021–2022 – Josh Wardle 
  • Since 2022 -The New York Times Company 

On which platform does the game run?

Wordle principally runs on the web platform.

When did the game get published?

The game was published in October 2021, one and a half years back.

To which genre does the game belong?

The game belongs to the word game genre.

What are the different categories of games offered by Wordle?

The various categories of games offered by Wordle include the following:

  • Jigsaw Games
  • Hot Games
  • Mahjong Games
  • Solitaire Games
  • Contexto
  • Wordle Unlimited
  • Taylordle
  • LoLdle
  • Foodle
  • Waffle Game
  • Qwordle 
  • New Games

Early growth

Josh generated the Wordle model in 2013. Mastermind, a color-matching game, motivated him. The model permitted participants to participate in brainteasers successively, and its glossary was unedited.

Initially, the game utilized all thirteen thousand probable 5-letter words in English. However, Josh felt that Palak Shah, his collaborator, had trouble distinguishing some of the less familiar words and made the presumption as disorganized as it was in Mastermind.

Subsequently, Shah acted as an elementary filter for downsizing the glossary to approximately two thousand words that were commoner– about five years of brainteasers on an everyday basis. Once the model attained completion around 2014, Josh lost attention and suspended the model.

Meanwhile, Josh generated Place and The Button, the two online social trials while serving Reddit. 

At the time of the COVID-19 pandemic strike, Josh and his associate “entered genuinely into” the daily crossword puzzle and Spelling Bee of The New York Times.

Josh returned to his Wordle model. He got motivation from the two building blocks of the Spelling Bee to elaborate on the model. They were the easy-to-apply website layout for the brainteaser and the restriction of one brainteaser daily.

By January 2021, Josh had released Wordle on the Internet, mostly allocated between him and his colleague. They arrived at the name Wordle since they assumed it was a wordplay on Josh’s family name.

Languages utilized 

Soon after garnering viral fame among English-communicating subscribers in January 2022, the game got translated into other lingos.

Hannah Park made a free-source edition of the fundamental Wordle game. Aiden Pine, a polyglot, altered the game to cover a bigger assortment of character collections, making it conformable to a wider variety of languages.

By the beginning of February 2022, 350 distinct versions of Wordle, as a minimum, had been recorded on the “Wordles of the World” site.

These comprise no less than 91 editions derived from authentic languages, incorporating territorial and chronological vernaculars of certain languages and native languages.

These also incorporated applications of the Wordle method for languages that don’t have any alphabetical letteringarrangements, like the US-based gesture language and Chinese chengyu, and for imaginary languages like Klingon.

Languages in which Wordle has been translated include the following:

  • Armenian and Western Armenian
  • Arabic
  • Belarusian
  • Basque
  • Bulgarian
  • Bengali
  • Catalan
  • Cantonese
  • Croatian
  • Chinese
  • Czech
  • Cypriot
  • Dutch
  • Danish
  • Filipino
  • Esperanto
  • French
  • Finnish
  • German
  • Galician
  • Greek
  • Gitxsan
  • Hebrew
  • Hawaiian
  • Icelandic
  • Hungarian
  • Iñupiaq
  • Indonesian
  • Italian
  • Irish
  • Kannada
  • Japanese
  • Māori
  • Malaysian
  • Norwegian
  • Marathi
  • Old Norse
  • Occitan
  • Portuguese
  • Polish
  • Russian
  • Romanian
  • Serbian
  • Saanich
  • Slovenian
  • Singlish
  • Swedish
  • Spanish
  • Turkish
  • Tamil
  • Urdu
  • Ukrainian
  • Welsh
  • Uzbek
  • Yiddish


Participants of this game pick a 5-letter word daily which they target to presume within six attempts. Following every presumption, every letter gets labeled as either gray, yellow, or green. The green color signifies that the letter is accurate and in the proper place, and yellow signifies it is in the reply, although not in the proper place. At the same time, gray specifies it is not in the reply.

Numerous examples of the identical letter in a presumption, like the “o” s in the robot, will be painted yellow or green, provided that the letter also emerges on many occasions in the answer. If not, surplus recurring letters will be painted gray.

There is a “hard mode” option for the game, which necessitates participants to incorporate letters labeled yellow and green in succeeding presumptions.

The everyday word remains identical for everybody. There is also a dark theme of the game and a high-distinction theme so that colorblind people can access it. This alters the color format from yellow and green to blue and orange. 

Theoretically and expressively, Wordle has many resemblances with Jotto, the pen-and-paper game launched in 1955, and Lingo, the game show dealer.

The gameplay is somewhat comparable to Mastermind, the two-participant board game, which had a word-presuming edition named Word Mastermind. The Bulls and Cows game is also somewhat similar apart from that Wordle substantiates the particular letters that are accurate.

Every daily game utilizes a word from an arbitrarily arranged list comprising 2,309 words. The list represents words sorted out from the estimated 13,000 5-letter words list in the English vocabulary.

Josh’s wife picked the more modest word list, and she grouped the 5-letter words into the following: 

  • Those she was aware of 
  • Those she was not aware of 
  • Those she might have been aware of

Wordle utilizes US-based writing, even though Josh, the developer, was from Wales and applied a UK-based domain name. Wardle is an age-old inhabitant of Brooklyn, New York.

Participants beyond the United States have criticized that this writing principle renders US-based participants an undue benefit, for instance, in the matter of the outcome “privilege.”

As stated by the information gathered by The New York Times, the commonest 1st presumptions are the following:

  • Audio
  • Adieu 
  • Raise 
  • Stare 
  • Arise

Shot to fame

More than 300,000 subscribers participated in the Wordle game on 2nd January 2022. This was a jump from 90 participants on 1st November 2021, which increased to more than two million just after a week. Between the 1st and 13th of January, 2022, Twitter posted 1.2 million outcomes of the game. Various media channels, such as The Indian Express and CNET, ascribed the game’s fame to the daily occurrence of the brainteasers.

Are there altered copies or clones of the game?

Yes,the game has the following clones or replicas:

  • Britain-based Absurdle 
  • Weddle (for guessing NFL players) 
  • Sweardle (for guessing cuss words) 
  • Redactle
  • Semantle
  • Worldle
  • Waffle
  • Global 
  • Numble 
  • Mathler 
  • Needle  
  • Heardle
  • Warbl
  • Quordle
  • Trordle 
  • Doodle 
  • Octordle 
  • Hexordle 
  • Sedecordle 
  • Decordle 
  • Sexaginta 
  • Duotrigordle 
  • Kilordle
  • Polydle 

The New York Times registered a petition to record a brand name for Wordle soon after the acquisition to help safeguard its intellectual property.

Takeover by the New York Times Company

On 31st January 2022, the New York Times Company, the parent organization of The New York Times, took over Wordle from Josh for an “unrevealed amount in the low-7 numbers.” On 10th February 2022, the game was formally shifted to the official website of The New York Times, carrying forward the data.       

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