Wordle app creator donates profits after unexpected link to popular game

If you tried to download Wordle on your iPhone in the last few weeks, you may have grabbed the wrong game – but it still benefited a good cause.

Wordle is a daily word game that has exploded in popularity in recent months, and its creator Josh Wardle is deliberately keeping the game simple, ad-free, and only available in your browser. That hasn’t prevented people from trying to find it in the iOS App Store, as the creator of an old game that also happens to be named Wordle (opens in new tab) discovered.

App developer Steven Cravotta shared a Twitter thread (opens in new tab) telling the story of his Wordle, which he created five years ago and had largely forgotten about. Forgotten, at least, until he checked his App Store analytics a week ago and saw it had taken in more than 150,000 downloads in the space of a few days – seemingly all from people who were looking for the other Wordle. Since Cravotta’s game is set up to generate money with in-app purchases, it also meant an unexpected windfall. 

Here’s how a mobile game I built 5 years ago suddenly got blown up by The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Jimmy Fallon. 👇🏼👇🏼👇🏼 pic.twitter.com/aun7YM80p4January 12, 2022

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Rather than simply accepting the monetary rewards of being in the right place at the right time, Cravotta then reached out to the other Wordle’s Wardle and asked if they could mutually choose a place to donate the proceeds. Eventually they decided (opens in new tab) on Boost (opens in new tab), a charity that provides free after-school tutoring and mentorship to kids in Oakland, California.

Usually the stories of games being mistaken for other games don’t have nearly so heartwarming of an ending. Let’s savor this one while we can.

For some great games that are made to be played on iOS, check out our guide to the best iPhone games.

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