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Wordle clone bought by Merriam-Webster – new owner promises more features

Wordle clone bought by Merriam-Webster – new owner promises more features
Is Octordle getting bought out next? (pic: Merriam-Webster)

Merriam-Webster has pulled a New York Times and bought Quordle, the more challenging Wordle alternative, for an undisclosed sum.

Everyone knows the story of Wordle by this point. What started as a simple word game between friends blew up into an online phenomenon, eventually being bought by The New York Times for a seven figure sum .

Although Wordle also spawned countless copycats and unofficial spin-offs, only a small handful of them stood a chance of attracting the attention of a big-name corporation.

Music game Heardle, for example, was sold to Spotify just five months after the Wordle acquisition, and now Quordle has joined their ranks. However, it wasn’t snapped up by The New York Times but by dictionary publisher Merriam-Webster (so it’s definitely going to be American spelling only).

As a quick reminder, Quordle is functionally the same game as Wordle where you need to figure out a five letter word within a limited number of guesses.

What made Quordle stand out and garner popularity, was that you’re solving four puzzles at once, adding an extra level of challenge.

The news of its acquisition was surprisingly muted, with the official Merriam-Webster Twitter account putting out a simple ‘Welcome to the family’ over the weekend.

Welcome to the family, @quordle — Merriam-Webster (@MerriamWebster) January 20, 2023

The official Quordle Twitter’s announcement was similarly brief, only promising ‘lots of new features and fun to come.’

If you follow the usual link to Quordle, it’ll now take you to its new location on the Merriam-Webster website , where it has a slightly updated layout. Although it does now feature ads in lieu of asking for donations.

TechRadar was able to speak with Merriam-Webster president Gregory Barlow about the acquisition and while he didn’t disclose how much Quordle was sold for, he did reveal that it actually took place last year.

The buyout apparently went very smoothly, with Barlow describing negotiations as ‘quick and happy.’ The announcement was only made recently once Quordle was migrated to Merriam-Webster’s website.

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Barlow also teased new features and game modes but promised that Quordle would not be put behind a paywall.

Now, though, we’re left wondering if Octordle will get bought out next. Although Nerdle was always our favourite of the clones as at least it’s something a bit different.

I’m delighted to announce that Quordle was acquired by @MerriamWebster I can’t think of a better home for this game. Lots of new features and fun to come, so stay tuned! — Quordle (@quordle) January 20, 2023

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MORE : Octordle is Wordle for people who think Quordle’s too easy

MORE : Sedecordle is the ultra hard 16x Wordle spin-off you knew was coming

MORE : Wordle has been turned into a physical Christmas party board game

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