Wordle copycat creator apologizes for ripping off the popular free word game
Home » Wordle copycat creator apologizes for ripping off the popular free word game

Wordle copycat creator apologizes for ripping off the popular free word game

by arun809097
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Developer Zach Shakked — the creator of one of several controversial copycat versions of Josh Wardle’s popular free word guessing game — has responded to Apple’s removal of its app from the App Store following an internet response that followed its bragging rights about its money-making potential. of his clone.

“I realize I’ve crossed a line. And I certainly, certainly will never do anything near this again. I screwed up,” Shakked tweeted. He goes on to explain that “Wordle” itself was not trademarked and Wardle’s game was similar to lingo, an older TV game show with a similar word-guessing mechanism. Shakked also says he planned to expand further wordle with more functionality and changing the overall design of the app to be less like Wardle’s own game, if he could have done that before Apple removed its app from the store.

wordle has become hugely popular in recent weeks, with its minimalist design, bite-sized daily puzzles, and the now iconic grid of gray, yellow, and green squares. The original game is completely free and played exclusively through a web browser, giving an unlimited number of copycats the chance to quickly monetize the concept on the App Store.

Shakked’s clone (dubbed “Wordle – The App”) was one of the more talked-about ones, thanks to the developer’s celebratory tweets about the project and its eyebrow-raising price tag — an optional $30-a-year subscription that allows players to unlimited number of puzzles to play, instead of Wordle’s one-a-day system. Shakked’s tweets also rubbed many the wrong way, bragging about how many downloads and subscription trials his app got and how it “went to the damn moon.”

Shortly after reports from wordle knock-offs broke, Apple sprang into action and removed the offending apps from the App Store last night. Currently, there are only two puzzle games called “Wordle” left in Apple’s store, both of which offer very different kinds of word games than Wardle’s viral hit and are several years older than the web app. (Incidentally, the other Wordles seem to be benefiting greatly from Wardle’s game’s success, with both apps skyrocketing on the App Store charts).

In a separate thread, Shakked also says he spoke to Wardle and offered to license the idea, work together to develop an official app, or pay him a percentage of the profits, which Wardle reportedly says. refused. Shakked also claims that he told Wardle that he was “considering changing the name” before completely removing the app.

Wardle, for what it’s worth, has already been very clear about the idea of ​​monetization wordle (which, as he explained in a New York Times interview, was originally made as a gift for his partner). “I think people appreciate that there’s something online that’s just fun,” Wardle said. “It’s not trying to do something shady with your data or your eyes. It’s just a game that’s fun.”

The aftermath of the backlash appears to be Shakked (who had previously complained on Twitter about how “[s]hassle-free copy/paste ideas/features will get you nowhere”) about the idea of ​​copycat apps in the future. “I’m going back to making apps based on my completely, ever-green, original ideas and I’ll never keep anything like that at bay,” concludes Shakked’s thread.

Zach Shakked did not respond to the request for comment.

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