For all of you who take pride in playing Quordle, the five-letter word game known for being four times as difficult as Wordle, your word quest is right on. Iconic dictionary brand Merriam-Webster has acquired the popular online puzzle game, it announced Thursday.
Encyclopaedia Britannica-owned Merriam-Webster quietly snapped up the game, which launched shortly after Wordle became an online phenomenon in late 2021.
Quordle has a lot in common with Wordle. Wordle asks you to solve five-letter word puzzles in five guesses, while Quordle asks you to solve four five-word puzzles simultaneously in nine tries.
Both give you the standard virtual keyboard, and after you enter your five-letter word guess, the letters appear on all four word pads. The correct letter in the correct position is green, and the correct letter in the wrong position is orange. Yes, like Wordle.
The biggest difference is that one set of letters applies to all four puzzles at once, which is why Quordle is considered so difficult. You can solve four puzzles in just nine tries at a time.
I’m happy to announce that Quordle has been acquired by @MerriamWebster, I can’t think of a better home for this game. Lots of new features and fun are coming, so stay tuned!January 20, 2023
Quordle doesn’t have the cult fan base that Wordle does (maybe it’s just too hard), but Merriam-Webster’s backing might change that.
However, most people didn’t know that Merriam-Webster acquired Quordle last year until Friday.
Gregory Barlow, president of Merriam-Webster, told me on Friday: “The founders were big fans of us as a product home … my editors and I were big fans. Negotiations were quick and pleasant.”
After the acquisition for an undisclosed amount, the dictionary site made minor changes to Quordle, such as adding the Merriam-Webster logo last month, Barlow said. However, it wasn’t until they migrated the entire Quordle platform and URLs to Merriam-Webster’s servers on Thursday (January 19) that Quordle creator Freddie Meyer shared the news on Twitter.
While the URLs are different, fans of Quordle shouldn’t expect any drastic changes.
“I don’t have any plans to change anything. We do have some new features and maybe some new game types, but the core game that people play every day, I don’t want that to change.”
What’s more, Merriam-Webster has no plans to put Quordle behind a paywall. That should please a lot of loyal players. According to Barlow, 29.7 million users have played Quordle 410 million times in the past six months.
I asked Barlow if the New York Times had any concerns following the now more prominent Quordle because of its similarities to Wordle?
“No. [It’s] Definitely not copying Wordle. We really like Quordle because it’s a game like no other. Four words had to be done to introduce such a different gameplay and strategy. “
And, yes, Barlow was a Quordle player, and long before Merriam-Webster bought the game.