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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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If you're a regular internet user you've probably heard of popular web-based daily guessing game Wordle, created by Josh Wardle. The game, which is entirely free to play, was introduced last fall and has been spreading like wildfire.

wordle.jpg

Wordle asks players to guess a five letter word by identifying which letters are in the word and are located in the right location. Players get six guesses per day, and there's a single daily puzzle for everyone.

The website for the game tracks each person's number of wins, and provides an easily shareable graphic, which has contributed to its popularity. Josh Wardle has said that Wordle will remain ad-free and unmonetized, but because it's a web app, shady iOS developers have decided to create app versions to capitalize on the game's success.

There is no official iOS-based version of Wordle available, as it exists solely on the web. Any Wordle option available through the App Store is a clone app copying the idea from Josh Wardle, and there are several clone apps climbing up the App Store charts at the current time.

"Wordle - The App" from developer Zach Shakked is one of the most egregious copycat Wordle apps. Shakked has created an app that uses the concepts and the design of the Wordle website, and he's charging a $30 per year subscription fee for it. Earlier today, Shakked took to Twitter to brag about how much revenue his clone app would make, and he has been buying App Store ads to promote it.


Shakked is not the only developer that has created a Wordle clone, but he appears to be the only one charging a $30 per year fee for access. Other Wordle clones are free or have much lower price tags, but again, there is no official version and Wordle players should be aware that downloading one of these apps does not support the original Wordle creator.


There have been previous Wordle-like games and the general concept is not new, but Shakked and other developers have stolen the Wordle name, interface, and design from Wardle rather than making a similar game with their own graphics and naming scheme.

It's unlikely that Apple is going to remove these clone apps as apps and games based on stolen ideas are nothing new for the App Store. Many once-popular games have unfortunately been ripped off by other apps with no interference from Apple. Josh Wardle has not commented on the clone apps, and it's not clear if he'll try to get assistance from Apple.

Update: The Wordle clones have been removed from the App Store, and the only "Wordle" apps are apps that were in the App Store prior to the launch of the Wordle website.

Article Link: Clones of Popular 'Wordle' Game Flooding App Store, Including One Charging $30 Per Year [Updated]
 
Last edited:

sw1tcher

macrumors 68040
Jan 6, 2004
3,743
9,929
There is no official iOS-based version of Wordle available, as it exists solely on the web. Any Wordle option available through the App Store is a clone app copying the idea from Josh Wardle, and there are several clone apps climbing up the App Store charts at the current time.

"Wordle - The App" from developer Zach Shakked is one of the most egregious copycat Wordle apps. Shakked has created an app that uses the concepts and the design of the Wordle website, and he's charging a $30 per month subscription fee for it. Earlier today, Shakked took to Twitter to brag about how much revenue his clone app would make, and he has been buying App Store ads to promote it.

Would be nice to see Josh issue a cease and desist to all these people and for Apple to remove all the clone apps, but I have a feeling Apple won't because they don't want to miss out on their 15% or 30% cut of sales.
 

cjboffoli97

macrumors regular
Oct 4, 2005
148
419
Seattle, WA
(I say this as a lifelong, enthusiastic Apple customer and an Apple shareholder) Mr. Wardle should sue Apple. They are likely liable for contributory infringement. As the infringers have probably misrepresented to Apple that the apps they have uploaded for sale are their own IP, Apple would have every right to turn right around and sue them for damages.
 

Scoob Redux

macrumors 6502
Sep 25, 2020
475
689
Josh Wardle has said that Wordle will remain ad-free and unmonetized, but because it's a web app, shady iOS developers have decided to create app versions to capitalize on the game's success.
there is no official version and Wordle players should be aware that downloading one of these apps does not support the original Wordle creator.
So, if the creator himself does not wish to monetize his game, what is the relevence of some other activity "not supporting" the creator? He doesn't want monetary support.
 

Scoob Redux

macrumors 6502
Sep 25, 2020
475
689
Josh's idea and creation (i.e. intellectual property). All these people are infringing upon it.
No argument there. I'm saying what is the relevence of "not supporting" the creator, when he doesn't want monetary support?
iow, MR said we should be aware that buying the copycat apps is "not supporting" the creator. But using the creator's OWN game is also "not supporting" him financially, because he doesn't want support. So, basically, using his app, or using someone else's, results in the same: NO monetary support to the creator.
 

Theydonboi

macrumors regular
Jun 22, 2011
128
106
If you want to support Josh, I would recommend following him on Twitter.

He doesn't seem particularly interested in monetising Worldly (there's no ads on his website), so he just seems like one of the good guys. In terms of other people cashing in, that's always going to happen.
 

Michael Scrip

macrumors 604
Mar 4, 2011
7,645
11,592
NC
I thought one of the argument for having the App Store as the ONLY WAY to get apps was to prevent scams and knockoffs like this from happening?

Yes... this is definitely a black eye for that particular argument.

But if scam apps are getting through the review process at Apple Inc... imagine what kind of scam apps could be available on an alternative store that has NO oversight.

These stores could charge unsuspecting people $30/year and no one would be able to stop them.

At least Apple can step in and remove an offending app from their store.

But I'm not sure the fine folks at "Frank's App World" will care. They want money.

Then again... Apple wants money too. They are profiting from these scammy apps. So now what?

Are we just stuck with clone apps or something like a flashlight app that charges a recurring fee?

This all makes my head hurts. Good thing I've got Wordle the Pain Reliever
 

MJaP

macrumors 6502
Mar 14, 2015
259
905
Zynga has made most of their money actively copying other games and using their marketing clout to make their version more popular and people continue to throw money at their feet.
 

mikeschr

macrumors newbie
Oct 30, 2011
21
29
Josh's idea and creation (i.e. intellectual property). All these people are infringing upon it.
Yes, the name and visual design are his intellectual property and others should be prevented from stealing it.
The game itself is not new at all and was not created by Wardle.

For example, there's a years-old app and TV game show called "Lingo" that's exactly the same game.
 

Soccerrick10

macrumors member
Jan 28, 2019
69
117
Wait, I’m not going to support or talk down Apple on this. If you really feel this strongly, why not notify Apple of your concerns? Then you can rightfully blast them if they do nothing. But, complaining to a bunch of guys in a forum of how wrong this is does nothing.
 
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