Merriam-Webster buys Wordle-style hit game Quordle

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US dictionary publisher Merriam-Webster has acquired a hit Wordle-style game.

The original Wordle, created by Welsh software engineer Josh Wardle, challenges players to find a five-letter word in six guesses.

Quordle ups the ante, asking players to guess four five-letter words at once within nine attempts.

The New York Times acquired Wordle for a low seven-figure sum. While Heardle, a song-guessing game also inspired by Wordle, was bought by Spotify, in July.

“I’m delighted to announce that Quordle was acquired by Merriam-Webster! I can’t think of a better home for this game,” Quordle creator Freddie Meyer wrote.

Merriam-Webster president Greg Barlow told news website TechCrunch Quordle was a “favourite of Merriam-Webster editors”.

Neither party has revealed the terms of the deal.

Reacted angrily

Some Wordle fans were unhappy with changes to the game following its 2022 sale and the New York Times has discovered even the apparently innocuous business of picking five-letter words can stir up controversy.

In the week the US Supreme Court decision overturning legal protections for abortion leaked, some users discovered the word they had to guess was “fetus” (spelled “foetus” in British English), before the papers switched the solution, saying they wanted Wordle to “remain distinct from the news”.

Some Heardle fans also reacted angrily to changes and bugs following its sale to Spotify.

But Quordle fans may be happier with the change of ownership of their favourite app, reports suggest.

Some players had been annoyed by the frequency with which the app repeated words, Engadget wrote, adding: “With a dictionary company now in charge, here’s hoping Quordle will freshen things up.”

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