Wordle is turned into a board game

Hasbro partnered with the New York Times, which owns the popular online word puzzle game, to create “Wordle: The Party Game”. The new board game “introduces classic Wordle gameplay, but now in a whole new way,” the two companies said in a press release.

Hasbro approached the New York Times to create a team game after noticing how popular Wordle had become on the Internet, according to Hasbro Gaming vice president and general manager Adam Biehl.

“What really intrigued us was … how much fun it was for the people who posted the results on social media,” Behl said in an exclusive interview with CNN Business. “That’s when we learned there was something special about it.”

“Wordle: The Party Game” is one of Hasbro’s fastest launches, Biehl said, taking the team less than a year to create. The new title fits right into the company’s lineup of pop culture games, including versions of Monopoly based on “Bridgerton” and “Stranger Things.” Hasbro (she has) The Times pays a license fee to use Wordle.

Hasbro game studio created several versions of the game before landing the released one.

“We start with what we’re trying to achieve,” said Biehl, “including being as original in the Wordle experience as possible because we want to capture what made consumers really interested in the game.”

In addition, it was time for the team to emulate “the quality of what the Thames are known for,” Behl said. “It has been an interesting partnership to work with them on this.”

Pre-orders begin Thursday before the game’s October 1 release. It will be sold on Hasbro’s, Target, Amazon and Walmart for a suggested price of $19.99.

how to play

“Wordle: The Party Game” maintains the hallmark of playing the Wordle game, which gives players six chances to guess a five-letter word with the help of some color-coded clues (yellow if the letter is correct but in the wrong place and green if the letter is in the correct place).

In the board game version, four different versions are available to play: Fast, Timed, Team and Classic.

The classic version pits players against each other as they try to guess the letters in the word defined by “Wordle Host”. Players take turns as the host, and each round ends after six attempts – unless the correct word is guessed. The host uses colored squares to place over the letters to indicate what is correct. The timed and fast versions limit the amount of time players have to make their guesses.

Perhaps the most important difference from the online game is the team version, where two people play on one board against another team and guess the word chosen by the opponent.

“We know that people love to spend a night out and bring their friends to play games. They are social experiences, so they are a way to share, connect and create memories,” Biehl said.

Scoring is similar to the way the online version encourages players to get the word out with the least amount of guesses. The fewer attempts a player needs, the fewer points they score – and the player with the fewest points wins at the end of the game.

The board game includes dry-erase boards and pens as well as protective sections to prevent cheating and green and yellow tiles for hints. An official word list for use, compiled by The Times, is also included.

Although it’s a family game, Biehl said Hasbro expects the demographic to “lead towards a slightly larger audience,” reflecting other word games like Scrabble and Boggle. “We know that these games are played by a slightly older audience, both young and old, but we want to make sure there is a way for younger players because we know that many families love to connect through games,” he added.

Wordle growth

Josh Wardle, a Brooklyn-based software engineer formerly at Reddit, released the game online in October 2021 and it quickly became a cultural phenomenon. The New York Times bought Wordle for “low numbers” in January 2022, joining its growing collection of online games that also include crossword puzzles, miniatures, and spelling bee.

Turning Wordle into a board game helps The Times keep its “existing audience engaged with Wordle, and introduces Wordle to all new audiences,” Jonathan Knight, president of games at The Times, told CNN Business. “We are pleased with this cooperation.”

The Wordle purchase helped increase the number of digital subscriptions for the newspaper as it aims to diversify its revenue beyond advertising. Subscription revenue from digital products increased 26.3% in the first quarter of last year, to $226.8 million, which includes more than 40% of total sales.

“Wordle brought an unprecedented number of tens of millions of new users to the Times, many of whom stayed to play other games resulting in the best quarter ever for net subscriber additions to games,” CEO Meredith Cobit Levine said in the May earnings statement. It added that the company attracted 387,000 net digital subscribers in the quarter and now has 9.1 million subscribers.

Wordle remains free to play, but The Times puts its other games behind the paywall after a limited number of free games. Knight said the company is focusing on expanding Wordle’s presence by adding it to the main news app and the Times app’s Crossword app.

“We are very pleased with the continued engagement and continued enthusiasm behind Wordle,” Knight said.

CNN Business’ Paul R. Lamonica contributed to this report.

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