Remember the Other Wordle? Here's Where it is Now

Ariel Ariel
12/16/22

This is a single insight from This Week in Apps - Remember These Trends?. Check out the full article for more insights.


Remember the Other Wordle? Here's Where it is Now

Another big trend that happened this year is Wordle, the word game that took off in late December of 2021 and turned everyone's Twitter feed into a scorecard. That Wordle was a website and not an app.

There was an app with the same name in the App Store that was a totally different game from 2016. That app quickly became a Wordle clone, the only clone allowed in the App Store because it had the name before, and had some success.

The web Wordle was acquired by the New York Times and its popularity disappeared almost overnight, but the mobile game is still getting downloads.

How many? Let's have a look at the numbers.

Wordle app estimated downloads

In the before days, when the solo developer who made the game for fun back in 2016 didn't do anything to ride the wave, downloads organically grew fairly quickly because of the name but didn't stick because the game was very different and also very old-looking.

In numbers, we estimate weekly downloads rose to more than a million, from virtually none, in under a month. They remained high, and that's when the game "transformed" and became nearly identical to the web game.

By April the game peaked again, which led to its acquisition by ad network AppLovin's game studio.

But... it's at that point that downloads sloped down a ton, and would never recover. Our estimates show weekly downloads averaging 300K fairly consistently since.

Why? I expect it's a combination of the web game being acquired by the New York Times and being added into its mobile app and App Tracking Transparency making it much harder to get in front of people.

It's still seeing quite a few downloads, so I wouldn't call this acquisition a total fail, but I expect to see a push coming from Lion Games this holiday season. We can see downloads sloping up over the last few weeks, and considering the app is owned by an ad network, I fully suspect someone turned the knob up a notch.

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All figures included in this report are estimated. Unless specified otherwise, estimated revenue is always net, meaning it's the amount the developer earned after Apple and Google took their fee.

Tagged: #games #business

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