News business Wordle: The game phenomenon bought by a pillar of the American press!
Since the beginning of 2022, a web game has become a real phenomenon on French-speaking social networks. This is Sutom, who takes over the old game show Motus. But the latter is also inspired by an English version, which has become a worldwide phenomenon, Wordle.
The principle of Wordle, like that of Sutom (motus backwards), is simple. Players have daily the first letter of a word, and must figure it out in six attempts. Over the course of the trials, the players discover if a letter is well placed with a red highlight, if it is present in the word but is in the wrong place with a yellow highlight, or if it simply does not compose the search word, in which case it remains on a bare background.
Wordle: A global and dazzling success
More Wordle, playable in English, obviously has a much wider success. In just four months, the game of engineer Josh Wardle, mainly developed for its companion, is went from a few dozen daily players to more than 300,000 at the start of January, then to three million before the switch to February. Thanks to the fact only one word is offered each day and that it is possible to share your tests with your contacts, a real phenomenon was born, attracting the legendary New York Times. The press organ was obviously seduced, since Wordle was acquired for « several million » dollars, in order to integrate the offer of newspaper games, already composed of crosswords and other games of the genre. Jonathan Knight, general manager of New York Times Games, said:
This game did what few games have done before it: it captured our collective imagination and brought us closer together.
The New York Times assured that Wordle would remain free for the time being, and that the functioning of the game will not be modified. A way to reassure players, who already fear that their data will be collected. To give an idea of the importance of this acquisition for the New York Times, know that crosswords would have more than a million subscribers, and that over the first three quarters of 2021, non-information products have represented 11% of turnover from the NYT. Josh Wardle, whose success story is very popular across the Atlantic, for his part indicated:
I have long admired the Times approach and the quality of their games, and the respect with which they treat players. Their values match mine.
With this acquisition, we can ask ourselves a very simple question: Sutom, developed by JonathanMM, a 30-year-old computer engineer, will it end up in the sights of a publisher or a press organ? For the moment it is difficult to quantify the success of the French-speaking game.