Wordle, the free online game that tasks users to guess a new five-letter word each day in six attempts, has taken the internet by storm, so it was only a matter of time until it got bought.
Sure enough, The New York Times has snapped up the browser-based word puzzle for “an undisclosed price in the low seven figures”, a move the game’s creator Josh Wardle said felt “very natural” to him, as The New York Times’s games “play a big part in its origins”.
Of course, the news has been met with mixed reactions from the game’s two million-strong fan base, who are worried that Wordle may soon be put behind the publication's paywall.
However, it has said that Wordle will remain free to play – for now. The New York Times said the game would be free “initially” for new and existing players.
But Wordle’s current format as a simple web page means that users can simply download it to their desktop and continue to play the game for free going forward.
In a Twitter thread by technology expert Aaron Rieke, he explains that users could download a copy of the game now to play offline, and would still have access to the new daily word and answers, as well as the ability to share their result.
“Wordle is a tiny game that runs entirely in the browser,” he wrote. “The daily words are right there in the code, in a giant list. There are thousands of them.”
As per news website The Verge, downloading the game to your desktop does raise the question of copyright, however, saving webpages for offline use is a long-standing feature of most internet browsers, and is regularly done for much of the public web.
How to save Wordle to your computer
Step 1: Open Wordle on any Windows computer using any browser.
Step 2: Right click anywhere on the page to select “save as” or you can hit CTRL + S.
Step 3: Select the location on your computer where you want to save Wordle. You can save directly to your desktop for the quickest access.
Step 4: Ensure that when you hit save, you have selected “webpage, complete” from the “save as type” drop-down menu.
Rieke points out that the simplicity of Wordle and its format, meaning anyone can download and keep a version of the game, is in “direct contrast” to the current non-fungible token movement that champions ownership and authenticity.
“All of this makes me wonder: what was actually sold (aside from IP in the name)? And does it even matter? Maybe not,” he wrote.
“Long live Wordle.”