Wordle is a game where every day, players are required to figure out a new five-letter word within six attempts. Every guess brings the player closer to the word of the day. The game gives hints based on the position of the alphabets in the word using three colours—green stands for right alphabet-right spot, yellow stands for right alphabet-wrong spot and grey means absence of the alphabet in the word. The simplicity of the game and the ease of sharing one’s scores have literally brought the world together, with players across the world posting their scores on social media.
But who is the mastermind behind this delightful word game? Josh Wardle, a software engineer living in New York, created this game for Palak Shah, his partner who enjoys solving word puzzles. Initially, the two of them shared the game only with family and friends. They later launched a free website for the game in mid-2021. The game wasn’t very popular then. Wardle observed that a few players started posting their scores on Twitter and realised that it would be helpful to build a share function, which would enable users to share their score summary on social media. By the end of January 2022, the game was attracting around 3,00,000 players a day. The New York Times looked at this as an opportunity to increase website traffic and acquired the game.
Who would have imagined that a game with such humble beginnings would have people across the world glued to their phones? But Wardle played it smart. He had his eye on the future and followed his instincts through by taking the right steps at the right time. Simplicity and planning were the keys to his success.