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Wordle bought by The New York Times, will 'initially remain free'

The New York Times Company bought Wordle for an 'undisclosed price in the low seven figures'.

NEW YORK — The New York Times now owns one of social media's latest obsessions: Wordle. 

If you're on social media, you've probably seen Wordle's set of little green, yellow and grey squares -- often accompanied by an exclamation of how hard that day's puzzle was. The simple, free word game first appeared in October and rocketed in popularity in a matter of months. 

The New York Times, already known for its famous crossword puzzle and other games, announced Monday that it bought Wordle for an 'undisclosed price in the low seven figures.' 

So will users still be able to play for free? According to the Times, Wordle will "initially remain free to new and existing players."

RELATED: Oh my Wordle! What is it and why is it so popular?

Wordle's creator Josh Wardle, an NYC-based software engineer, said he was "in awe" of his game's meteoric rise. But that doesn't mean it's smooth sailing. 

"I'd be lying if I said this hasn't been a little overwhelming," Wardle said on Twitter. "After all, I am just one person, and it is important to me that, as Wordle grows, it continues to provide a great experience to everyone."

Wardle added that the New York Times' games were a big part of Wordle's origin. Worried about saving your wins and streaks? Wardle said he's working with the paper to make sure they're preserved. 

All in all, he said Wordle's success is far bigger than he imagined -- especially since he made it for an "audience of one". He made Wordle as a gift for his partner, who is a fan of word games and helped with the game's development.

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