So long,

Starting this afternoon, attempting to access, the website that used to feature the beloved daily word puzzle, will automatically redirect to The New York Times’ website. Upon arrival, visitors will recognize a strikingly similar webpage to the original puzzle, but may feel that something is off until they notice that the “Wordle” title now features The New York Times’ distinct font, which is a departure from the customary Helvetica font that we’ve become accustomed to.

Just last week, The New York Times revealed that they had acquired the immensely popular Wordle game from creator Josh Wardle for a sum of money in the “low seven figures”. However, it seems the newspaper is wasting no time in implementing changes, as evidenced by their recent URL redirect. Despite publishing a guide for Wordle only three hours ago, which included a hyperlink to the previous “power language” URL, it appears the writers may also have sentimental attachments to the old site like many of its users.

It was expected that changes would be made to the Wordle game after The New York Times acquired it, but the alterations are so minor that they may go unnoticed by players at first. One of the changes is the addition of a hamburger menu located in the upper left corner, which provides access to other games offered by The New York Times. However, at TechCrunch, we had become attached to the unique and quirky URL that the game was previously hosted on.

The reason why had become so beloved was due to its unconventional nature, which wasn’t aimed at optimizing for search engine rankings or maximizing discoverability. Despite this, the game managed to gain tremendous popularity purely by word of mouth. Even if someone had learned about Wordle from a friend and attempted to search for it online, they might have been perplexed as to whether the “power language” website was the correct destination. It was even possible that some might have mistakenly downloaded a fraudulent app thinking it was the actual game.

The use of “powerlanguage” in the URL of the Wordle game has left many wondering about its significance. Fortunately, we had the opportunity to ask creator Josh Wardle about the origins of this online moniker during an interview last month. Given the recent surge in popularity, it must seem like ages ago to Wardle now that he is in such high demand as a developer.
During our interview with him, Josh Wardle explained that the use of “powerlanguage” in the game’s URL originated from a mishearing of someone berating him and his friends for swearing during his youth. Wardle misheard the phrase “foul language” as “power language,” and was captivated by the idea of swearing being referred to as such. He continued to use the term as a username online and ran with it, as one might at the age of 16 or so.

Unfortunately, some users have reported that their daily streaks have been reset as a result of the web migration, despite gameplay statistics being retained. Although this is disappointing news, perhaps it presents an opportunity to let go of the need for perfection and embrace the unpredictability of the game. We can allow ourselves to guess a terrible first word tomorrow and enjoy the simple pleasure of manipulating letters to create words, which we can then share with friends as a daily ritual. Alternatively, if we’re feeling frustrated, we can always vent on social media – that’s an acceptable option too.

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