If you love brainy games with challenging puzzles and fair playing fields, then odds are you’ve heard about Wordle – a simple word game that took the world by storm within only a few months. Wordle became extremely popular shortly after its initial release, now enjoyed by millions of gamers worldwide. But, just how many people still play Wordle?
The average amount of Wordle players went from around 90 on November 1st to around 300,000 on January 2nd, spiking to over 2 million players only a week later. While under 3 million people play Wordle in 2022 based on daily result posts on social media, the player count has been declining since the New York Times took over.
While this infamous word game seems simple and straightforward, its addictive and enjoyable design makes it well-loved by a ton of fans worldwide. Stick around to find out why this game became such a hit, how its player counts shifted over the course of its running, and just how many people still play Wordle.
Wordle was created by Josh Wardle in October 2021, a software engineer based in Brooklyn originally from Wales, and the game was initially created for his partner – a dedicated word game fan. Wordle began as a fun and quirky passion project, made with love for nothing more than personal enjoyment.
The pair started off playing Wordle on their sofa for fun, and other users slowly began joining them over time. It only really took off when one user in New Zealand (still known for some of the highest Wordle engagement) posted her results in a sequence of emojis on Twitter. This not only sparked a ton of interest online but prompted Wordle to create a function that supports sharing results.
Josh Wardle informed BBC that Wordle will never become laden with ads or unenjoyable trimmings like other similar games. That being said, Wordle would ultimately become a part of the New York Times subscription puzzle service. Still, Wardle ensured that Wordle would remain free-to-play as a standard and current streaks would be preserved throughout the shift.
“It is important to me that, as Wordle grows, it continues to provide a great experience to everyone. Given this, I am incredibly pleased to announce that I’ve reached an agreement with The New York Times for them to take over running Wordle going forward.”
Many players were concerned that the game would become drastically different after the shift, but Wordle has not become harder or changed concerning gameplay. Taking a look at the game’s script will show that no significant changes have been made. According to the New York Times:
“Nothing has changed about the game play,” the Times’ communications director, Jordan Cohen, said to CNET in an email.
Josh Wardle stated that he wanted this word game to feel like a croissant – a “delightful snack” that is enjoyed occasionally. It was an interesting analogy, but it becomes crystal clear once you understand the nature of the game.
He explained that similar to croissants, such games lose their charm when they are enjoyed too often. This had a massive influence on the overall model and design of Wordle, therefore a huge influence on the game’s future success.
“I need to be really thoughtful. It’s not my full-time job and I don’t want it to become a source of stress and anxiety in my life. If I do make any changes, I would like to think they are changes I would have made even if it was just [my partner and I] playing.”
Since the game’s release and astounding success, there have been a ton of ‘clones’ – many of which have been little more than cash grabs. But, some of them (such as Worldle, Squabble, and Dordle) are quite unique and interesting, taking inspiration from Wordle and creating something new and fresh.
How Many People Play Wordle In 2022?
Wordle went viral on social media (mainly Twitter) in late December 2021, and the number of players exploded. According to Statista, the average amount of Wordle players went from around 90 on November 1st, 2021 to around 300,000 on January 2nd, 2022, spiking to over 2 million players only a week later.
The number of Wordle tweets was increasing by around 26% a day on average by the beginning of 2022. According to The Conversation, Wordle has nearly 3 million players from all over the world in 2022, as more versions are appearing in other languages – opening up room for other countries that do not necessarily operate in English.
Josh Wardle was extremely overwhelmed by the game’s sudden and unintentional success, especially considering that no artificial tactics were used to promote Wordle’s growth – such as notifications and prompts alongside that of other apps all competing for users’ attention. Although the excitement was included in this overwhelming blend of emotions, Wardle stated that:
“It going viral doesn’t feel great to be honest. I feel a sense of responsibility for the players. I feel I really owe it to them to keep things running and make sure everything’s working correctly.”
Still, Wardle did take comfort in how much good Wordle was doing for its players. He never expected that this game would have such an amazing impact on its community overall.
Wordle Player Count Stats
The player counts for Wordle have been reported by several sources, although these reports typically display staggeringly low numbers compared to those reported by researchers. For example, Steam Charts reports only 21 active players at the time of writing, with a low average of 58.6 players in the last 30 days and an all-time high of only 3,923.
When put side by side against the ‘millions’ of players reported by other sources, these low numbers seem to be highly inaccurate. Still, this may be due to numerous factors, such as difficulty tracking Wordle player activity.
Since the game is not pay-to-play or created by an official game developer, it’s quite possible that many Wordle players are flying under the radar. By contrast, the official sources who have conducted interviews with Wardle seem to have assumed player count figures according to the number of daily result posts online.
It’s worth noting that, as a result, even these figures are broad – they may be higher or lower than the reports. But, it’s safe to say that this form of player count tracking seems to be more accurate for such a game – at least, for now.
Below are the estimated Wordle player count stats based on the number of users who posted their daily Wordle results on social media, according to The Street:
The reason why Wordle is losing popularity in 2022 is at least partially due to the fact that users have found ways to cheat the game and due to there being so many knock-offs or equally alluring clone games to date. But, there seems to be a clear decline in players since the sale to the New York Times was announced.
What Made Wordle So Popular?
Although Wordle is a simple word puzzle game, it is extremely popular – far more popular than many other games within the same genre. So, why exactly did Wordle become such a massive hit? It has a lot to do with the game’s model and overall design, as it features quite a few traits that make it addictive for players.
There Is Only One Puzzle Per Day
An interesting mechanic of Wordle is the fact that the game only creates one puzzle each day, which creates a certain level of stakes. Players will only be able to take on that puzzle on the day – players only get one shot and will have to wait for the next day’s puzzle if they mess up.
This design makes it really addictive overall, as players cannot simply binge-play the game and then leave it on the shelf for an indefinite timeframe. It encourages players to play Wordle each and every day, promoting a specific amount of playtime per day as well.
Every Player Takes On The Same Puzzle Each Day
In addition to the fact that every puzzle is unique to each day, the puzzles are not unique to players. Every single player playing Wordle will be facing the exact same puzzle as every other Wordle player every day, which creates a great level of fairness.
At the same time, it promotes community engagement with other fellow Wordle players from all over the world. It’s easy to chat with other Wordle players and discuss the day’s puzzles, including challenges, learning curves, and much more.
Following on from the point above, Wordle has made it really easy to share daily results online, whether they be success or failure – it’s all part of the fun. Players are invited to share their journey on Wordle for the day (without spoiling the puzzle for everyone else), adding an extra competitive yet friendly element to the mix.
Wordle is not just a simple word puzzle game, it’s a conversation starter and an amazing way to spice up your vocab in a fun and engaging way. Although its popularity seems to be waning in 2022, there’s really no downfall to giving Wordle a shot if you’re an avid lover of well-designed word games.