Who invented Wordle?

Wordle is a wildly popular online word game that has taken the world by storm since its release in October 2021. But who is the genius behind this simple yet addictive game? The creator of Wordle is Josh Wardle, a software engineer from Brooklyn.

The Origin Story

In early 2021, during the COVID-19 pandemic, Wardle decided to work on a word game prototype that he had originally created in 2013. His goal was to make a fun daily word game that he could share with his partner Palak Shah, who loved playing word games like the New York Times Spelling Bee.

Wardle named his game "Wordle" as a play on his last name. The basic premise was simple: players guess a five-letter word in six tries, receiving feedback after each guess about which letters are correct or misplaced. This game mechanic was inspired by the classic board game Mastermind.

"I wanted to come up with a game that she would enjoy," Wardle said in an interview about creating Wordle for his partner.

For the first half of 2021, Wardle and Shah played Wordle in secret every day, honing the word list and mechanics. It became an obsession in their household.

In October 2021, Wardle decided to share the game with his family's WhatsApp group. It quickly became an obsession for them as well. On November 1, 2021, when Wardle finally launched Wordle to the public, only 90 people played it.

But within two months, Wordle went viral. By early January 2022, over 300,000 people were playing it daily.

Wordle's Growth Timeline

Here is a timeline showing Wordle's incredible growth in 2021-2022:

  • October 2021: Wordle launches publicly on Josh Wardle's website, powerlanguage.co.uk
  • November 2021: Only 90 people play on launch day, November 1
  • December 2021: Wordle starts catching on, gets 300,000 daily players
  • January 2022: 2 million people play Wordle on the weekend of Jan 8-9
  • January 2022: The New York Times Company acquires Wordle for a seven-figure sum
  • January 2022: Wordle peaks at over 3 million daily players

In just three months, Wordle went from a game played by 90 people to a worldwide phenomenon played by millions every day.

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