Wordle has become a worldwide craze. Even if you don’t play it, you’ve almost likely seen those little grids of green, yellow, and grey blocks followed with a short, weird sequence of numbers if you use Twitter.
You’ve probably heard of Wordle, a new word game invented by Josh Wardle, if you’ve been on the internet recently.
Similar to the 1980s American game show Lingo, the simple title invites users to guess a five-letter phrase each day within six tries.
For the time being, the “official” Wordle is only available on the web, and it can only be played with a web browser.
Attack of the clones
Clones have begun to appear in mobile app stores, as is customary with anything that gets viral on the internet. Copycats have jumped on the opportunity to profit from Wordle’s fame, as several individuals have pointed out on Twitter.
Others have seen how new apps have added the “Wordle” keyword to their names to increase their search visibility.
As previously said, Wordle is based on Lingo, thus it’s not a completely new concept. The fact that clones use the same visuals and name as Wardle’s web-based game could be a source of conflict. Some rip-offs charge as much as $30 a year just to play them on your iPhone.
Thankfully, another news agency has recently reported that Apple has begun removing apps that contain the word “Wordle” and were released after the web-based game.
It’s unclear whether other stores will follow suit. A quick search on the Google Play Store turned up dozens of apps that contained the phrase “Wordle.” Meanwhile, based on a brief check, the Microsoft Store does not appear to be infiltrated by clones, but this is likely due to low developer interest due to the storefront’s smaller user base.
In any case, you can view the original Wordle in your browser by clicking here.
Guy gets booted off Twitter for boasting about ripping off Wordle and charging for it
Zachary Shakked, the ‘creator’ of the Wordle mobile app, has taken everything, including the title, and added a “Wordle Pro” upgrade option (for $30!) that includes additional game modes with 4, 6, and 7-letter words, as well as unlimited daily plays.
As if that wasn’t awful enough, Shakked also used the chance to brag about how well the app is performing on social media. Wordle fans reacted angrily, and while Shakked initially sneered about the game’s mechanics and Wardle’s failure to copyright the title, he eventually gave up and shielded his Twitter account.
It’s hardly a justification of Shakked (or anybody else who plagiarizes others’ work), but his Wordle copycat is far from the only one in the App Store. A few games that use the title precede Developer Josh Wardle’s web-based blockbuster, but most are complete rip-offs.
At the very least, the creators of the majority of those clones had the good judgment to keep quiet about it. Shakked’s triumphalism on Twitter is what got him into trouble.
Last year, Apple revealed that, in addition to an automated review process, it employs around 500 humans to conduct a “robust manual review” of applications submitted for sale on its App Store.
Approximately 40% of the apps submitted are rejected as a result of this, but many others are accepted. This is somewhat unsurprising given the fact that approximately five million apps are submitted for evaluation each year.