Wordle Owner Goes After One Man Developer of Location Guessing Game Worldle
Released May. 31st, 2024

Wordle owner The New York Times has legally challenged the one man developer behind location guessing game Worldle despite saying it's "fine with [similar games]" in 2023.

As reported by the BBC, The New York Times has accused Kory McDonald of "creating confusion" among consumers and attempting to capitalise on the success of Wordle, which it purchased for a seven figure amount in 2022.

Worldle shows a Google Street View location to players each day and asks them to figure out where in the world they are. Just like Wordle, it gives them six guesses to reach the correct answer, and is "nearly identical in appearance, sound, meaning, and imparts the same commercial impression", according to The New York Times.

"Wordle is about words, Worldle is about the world, Flaggle is about flags.

This comes one year after the company's head of games Jonathan Knight told the BBC that "imitation is the best form of flattery" and that it's "always been fine with [similar games] and think that they just help keep the game fresh and alive for people]."

McDonald said he was surprised and disappointed in the legal challenge but has no intention of stopping. "There's a whole industry of [dot]LE games," he said. "Wordle is about words, Worldle is about the world, Flaggle is about flags."

Even another game called Worldle is available, and has players guess a country based on its outline, but The New York Times declined to comment to the BBC if it would go after this too. McDonald's monetization of his game, for which he offers an advertisement free version for £10 a year though claims most of this goes to Google for using Street View, is perhaps related.

Wordle is the puzzle game created in October 2021 where players must guess a five letter word within six attempts after being told on each try which letters are correct and in the right position, correct and in the wrong position, and incorrect altogether.

Ryan Dinsdale is an IGN freelance reporter. He'll talk about The Witcher all day.

-- Source: https://www.ign.com/articles/wordle-owner-goes-after-one-man-developer-of-location-guessing-game-worldle