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Wordle now requires a New York Times account to view your stats

The days of precariously storing your Wordle history in your browser’s cache are over: You now need a free New York Times account to see your stats.

I know this because I am one of the holdouts who never connected their Wordle history to an account. Since the start, my Wordle record has been tied to the Chrome profile I use for work. (Please don’t make me explain why it’s my work profile.)

However, when I finished today’s Wordle—the 1,000th Wordle puzzle—the bar graph of my guess distribution that I’ve been seeing for years was absent. In its place was an invitation to see my stats by making a free New York Times account. NYT purchased Wordle from creator Josh Wardle in 2022. (Yes, the Wordle guy is named Wardle.)

In a 2022 GDC talk, Wardle attributed Wordle’s success in part to players sharing results on social media, and said that he didn’t actually invent the idea: he turned the emoji block recaps into an automated feature after he saw a player doing it manually. That sharability, along with it being free and requiring no account creation, led to Wordle’s viral spread. (Fun fact: The first place it blew up was New Zealand.)

Wordle can still be played without an account, but if you want a readout of your stats, making a New York Times account is now mandatory—I couldn’t find a way around it, and other players on social media are reporting the same thing.

The New York Times is perhaps getting more serious about converting Wordle’s enduring popularity into income—the paper recently targeted nearly 2,000 Wordle-like games with DMCA notices.

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