The popularity of Wordle, the web-based word game developed by Josh Wardle, has spawned countless offshoots and clones since the game launched back in October of last year. While this might have been cool with the game’s original creator, The New York Times — which acquired Wordle this past January — has signaled this laissez-faire attitude towards unofficial takes on the game is coming to an end.
Wordle Archive, a website that allows users to play through previous daily Wordle puzzles that had been up since early January, has been replaced with a message stating that the game has been taken down at the request of The New York Times, Ars Technica reports. The Wordle Archive is still playable in its own archive form as of March 5 via the Internet Archive, but the site itself has been discontinued.
“The usage was unauthorized, and we were in touch with them,” a New York Times representative told Ars Technica. “We don’t plan to comment beyond that.”
The Wordle Archive is far from the only site that allows users to play archived Wordle puzzles, nor is it the first to iterate on the viral success of the game through a function otherwise not offered through the official version. With multiple offshoots of the game such as Crosswordle, Heardle, Quordle, Dordle, Globle, and more enjoying consistent popularity, the question of whether these games will be allowed to continue becomes a question of how aggressively The New York Times will protect the copyright it now owns.