The New York Times app displayed on a smartphone, held horizontally in a reader's hands

Wordle Now Available in The New York Times Crossword App

Will Wordle will remain free or is this The Times move to monetize the popular word game?

Wordle, the popular five-letter-word guessing game, is now available to play in The New York Times Crossword App, available for iOS and Android. The app can be downloaded for free from the App Store or Google Play store. However, even with a subscription to The New York Times, Wordle players will have to pay for a subscription in the Crossword app to continue to pay beyond the seven-day free trial. A subscription can be purchased for $4.99 a month or $39.99 a year.

The Crossword app offers subscribers ad-free access to:

  • The current New York Times crossword puzzle
  • Access to 10,000 past crossword puzzles
  • The Mini Crossword puzzle
  • Spelling Bee
  • Wordle
  • Sudoku, Vertex, Times and Letter Boxed on NYTimes.com

A subscription to the Crossword App does not include New York Times news or editorial content, e-reader editions, or the digital version of The New York Times Cooking.

Screenshot of Subscription Offer in The New York Times Crossword App
Screenshot of Subscription Offer in The New York Times Crossword App

For now, Wordle fans can still play the word game for free online. The New York Times did not indicate in their announcement if Wordle would remain free on their website indefinitely. Previous players shouldn’t panic. They can save their Wordle progress and winning streaks with the subscription, so they can keep playing without losing their stats.

The simple but addictive online word game was launched by Josh Wordle in October 2021, attracting millions of players around the world. The New York Times purchased Wordle earlier this year to add to its collection of word games which they have leveraged to add another subscription to their portfolio. Wordle is the latest addition. According to The New York Times, at the end of July, 10% of active Wordle players have played 145 or more games.

“Wordle is the latest addition to the New York Times Game portfolio of engaging word and logic games that have captivated solvers since the launch of The Crossword in 1942. In 2014, The Times introduced the Mini Crossword – followed by Spelling Bee, Letter Boxed Tiles and Vertex – offering puzzles for all skill levels that everyone can enjoy playing every day,” said The New York Times on their Wordle the Party Game website.

Screenshot of The New York Times Crossword App
Screenshot of The New York Times Crossword App

Wordle board game coming soon

In addition to the online and app versions of Wordle, The New York Times has partnered with Hasbro to turn Wordle into a board game. Wordle: The Party Game will be available in North America, and it is currently available for pre-order from Amazon, Pulse and Target for $19.99 plus applicable taxes and fees.

Insider Take

The New York Times has set an ambitious goal of 15 million subscribers by 2027. At the end of the second quarter of 2022, they had 9.17 million paid subscribers, including subscribers to The Athletic which The Times acquired earlier this year. One way that The Times hopes to achieve this subscription growth is through a range of subscription products, including their news products, games, The Athletic, Wirecutter and potentially new products.

It is not a surprise that The New York Times is moving Wordle into its stable of games. However, when they acquired the game, they promised it would not change and yet it has…twice. While the free version is still available on the newspaper’s website, we believe they will eventually move it behind a paywall and it will need to be accessed through a subscription. We understand and respect this approach, but it is unfortunate that The Times doesn’t give news subscribers access to games.

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