Quordle just acquired by Merriam-Webster — and new features are on the way

Quordle on a smartphone
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

For those of us who found uncovering today’s Wordle answer challenging enough, Quordle is the stuff of nightmares. Yes, you get nine attempts to Wordle’s six, but you’re also trying to hunt down four words simultaneously.

But it has a fandom that has outlived the majority of the flash-in-the-pan Wordle alternatives, and that has earned creator Freddie Meyer a payday. The game has been acquired by dictionary and reference book maker Merriam-Webster for an undisclosed fee.

If you tap www.quordle.com into your browser, you’ll be redirected to a page on the Merriam-Webster site, which is the new home of the game. Otherwise — barring a privacy options pop-up that’ll appear for first-time users — it’s business as usual, with just a Merriam-Webster logo next to the familiar Quordle one. You can just pop in today’s Quordle answers as per usual, and continue building up your stats.

That doesn’t mean the game will remain static forever, however. If you tap into the help section of the game, you’ll see a quick message from Meyer expressing his delight at the Merriam-Webster acquisition, and promising “new features and fun to come”. 

No paywall

Merriam-Webster is owned by Encylopedia Britannica, and when big companies snap up smaller ones, there’s always a fear that things will fundamentally change, but early signs are promising that Quordle diehards have little to worry about, at least in the short term.

In an interview with our sister site, TechRadar, Merriam-Webster President Gregory Barlow assured fans that there are no plans to put the game behind a paywall. 

“I don’t have any changes planned,” he told the site. “We do have some new features and maybe some new game types coming, but the core game that people play every day, I would not expect it to change.”

While not quite the cultural phenomenon of Wordle — which has been promoted by everyone from Jimmy Fallon to the US Vice President — Quordle will still bring a lot of traffic to Merriam-Webster’s games section.  According to Barlow, 29.7 million players have attempted 410 million puzzles in the last six months, which could mimic the “tens of millions of new users” that the New York Times’ games section acquired with the purchase of Wordle.

Wordle and Quordle aren’t the only online guessing games to be snapped up by bigger online brands in the last year. Last July, Heardle — the music identification game — was purchased by streaming giant Spotify for an undisclosed amount

Hopefully Waffle — my personal favorite of the Wordle-likes out there — isn’t feeling too left out. 

Alan Martin

Freelance contributor Alan has been writing about tech for over a decade, covering phones, drones and everything in between. Previously Deputy Editor of tech site Alphr, his words are found all over the web and in the occasional magazine too. When not weighing up the pros and cons of the latest smartwatch, you'll probably find him tackling his ever-growing games backlog. Or, more likely, playing Spelunky for the millionth time.