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New York Times Buys Popular Online Game Wordle

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- A word game developed by a New Yorker went viral after just a few months online and now, the New York Times owns it.

CBS2s Vanessa Murdock has the good word about Wordle from users.

"It's the first thing I do when I wake up in the morning," said Hoboken resident Tatum Dougherty.

"It's addicting," said Minnesota resident Will Webster. "I feel like I just have to keep playing it."

"I don't play it. I'm annoyed play it," said Midtown resident Tyce Green.

A lot of people are playing, talking, tweeting, TikToking about what Steve Yaros describes as a  "simplistic word game."

One that you can access for free through any web browser – no app necessary. The objective: Guess the 5 letter word of the day in six attempts or less.

Many opt to share their solutions - no doubt you've seen these quizzical grids around

New York Time's Crossword Editor Will Shortz plays. He spoke with "CBS Sunday Morning."

"You try to use a five letter word. The computer tells you which letters are in the correct position, but which letters of your guess are correct, but in the wrong position," Shortz said.

The New York Times just announced the acquisition of Wordle from its Brooklyn Creator, Josh Wardle.

Wardle Tweeted in part "NYT games play a big part in its origins… this step feels very natural to me."

In a statement, the New York Times shared it "remains focused on becoming the essential subscription for every English-speaking person seeking to understand and engage with the world… games are a key part of that strategy."

"I hope they keep offering a free version," said CNET Editor-At-Large Scott Stein.

Stein says many worry Wordle will end up behind a paywall.

"The fact that you can play it on a web browser, on basically anything," he said. "It's the best thing and what everyone's getting a little sad about with the Times acquisition."

For now, The Times says new and existing users can still play for free.

"It was just a website and now its pretty huge," Dougherty said.

"Do you think it's in your future?" Murdock asked.

"It might be," Green said.

No doubt The New York Times hopes so.

While the Times did not disclose the exact purchase price of Wordle, it was in the low seven figures.

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