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Wordle’s big problem that Flappy Bird also suffered

Wordle, the game that consists of guessing a five-letter word each day, has flooded social networks with gray, yellow and green colored squares, in order for players to show their progress newspaper. Something that seems to have encouraged many other users to play. Although this kind of hobbies that only works through the browser has been available for more than a year, it was not until 2022 when its popularity skyrocketed, and copies have not stopped appearing since then.

Some Wordle clones work similar to the original game. One of them, for example, offers practically the same interface and mechanics, but changing the language from English to Spanish. Something that does not seem to worry users, given that it is also maintained as a free option and without advertising. The problem is that many developers have taken advantage of the Wordle fever to launch identical versions that include advertising or even a subscription, with the aim of generating income. In the Google Play Store there are also hundreds of apps that already imitate the original version, some of them have already been removed.

Wordle’s story, in fact, is very reminiscent of Flappy Bird, a very popular game that was removed from the app stores at the request of its creator. After this event, the clones did not stop appearing on Google Play and the App Store, forcing both companies to eliminate all those that resembled the original version.

The original Wordle game does not have an app for iOS or Android.

One of the examples that has had the greatest impact is the app created by the developer Zach Shakked, who published an app called “Wordle – The App” on the App Store. This worked very similarly to Wordle, but added a $30 yearly subscription so that the user can guess an unlimited number of words during the day, instead of one word every 24 hours, like the original game. The popularity of the app, as highlighted by Shakked in a tweet, skyrocketed just a few hours after its publication, but many Internet users did not seem to like the idea, who accused Shakked of being a scammer for charge something that should be free. Apple, faced with the avalanche of criticism, decided to remove the application.

Just a few hours after the demise of the paid subscription Wordle mimic app, Shakked posted a series of tweets alleging that they intended to turn their game into something other than the original version. The developer says that he started his project after realizing that Wordle was a copy of other games and that his trademark was not registered. His initial plan was to generate some money by creating something similar in a weekend, as he indicates. “I used a similar UI because I made the app over a WEEKEND. I was already working on an update with a different UI,” he says in one of his posts.

Regarding the $30 per year subscription, Shakked says that it was optional and not abusive, and that many of its users who downloaded their Wordle clone chose not to pay. Finally, he decided to apologize. “I realize I’ve crossed a line. And surely, surely, I will never do anything remotely like this again. I’ve screwed up.” According to The Verge, Apple has also removed several applications that copied Wordle and were published on the App Store.