‘Bad’ Wordle sees downloads soar since 2022 | Pocket Gamer.biz
Last year, online word game Wordle became an internet sensation and brought unexpected traffic to an older game of the same name launched by Goldfinch Studios more than five years ago.
According to Sensor Tower, since its launch in 2016, Goldfinch’s Wordle had only generated 31,800 downloads through the end of 2021.
After Josh Wardle’s web game skyrocketed in popularity late last year, downloads of Goldfinch’s mobile game have surged. In the first two months of 2022, the mobile game racked up over nine million downloads.
Last month was mobile gaming’s best month ever for downloads at 6.7 million, a 171% increase from January 2022. Sensor Tower estimates this generated approximately $500,000 in revenue for Goldfinch for the month.
Part of the download spike can be attributed to consumer confusion, with many comments implying that the game is not what others told them.
On the tails
Until a few months ago, Goldfinch’s Wordle last updated over five years ago in May 2016 (according to data.ai). Goldfinch has since started delivering updates for its long-forgotten title, starting in January 2022 with bug fixes and later adding new features, such as a daily word and monetization mechanics.
Wardle’s Wordle got a lot of attention and eventually led to several clone games being uploaded to the App Store and Google Play to take advantage of it (Wardle’s web game was not monetized in any way). Although many of them were deleted, they have since started to reappear.
Wordle was so popular that it caught the attention of The New York Times which acquired the game for a “low seven-figure” fee. Wardle has since spoken to GDC about how his lack of interest in running a games business prompted the sale to the NYT, as well as other experiences he’s had.
Wordlegate serves as an example that consumers are unlikely to do much work researching games to play on their phones, and that as companies such as Epic Games compete for integration with third-party app stores, the majority are more likely to still visit the most well-known app stores for their downloads.