App Dev Who Shamelessly Ripped Off Wordle Brags On Twitter And Is Viciously Roasted

wordle game
Apple gets the last word when it comes to clones of the popular Wordle game that popped up in its App Store recently. One brazen dev, that even copied the name of the game, bragged on Twitter about how many downloads his cloned app was getting in Apple's App Store. As you might imagine, the reaction to his boasting was less than enthusiastic.

For those not in the know, Wordle is a free to play game on Twitter that was created by Josh Wardle. When interviewed by The New York Times, Wardle indicated he developed the game for his partner who loves crossword puzzles. Wardle stated, "I think people kind of appreciate that there's this thing online that's just fun. It's not trying to do anything shady with your data or your eyeballs. It's just a game that's fun." The game allows people the chance to try and guess one five letter word a day. You get six chances before you can no longer guess.

It didn't take long for others to try and cash in on the simple format the game follows. The fact the game does not have an official app made it even more appealing as some not only copied the format of the game, but the name as well. One dev, Zach Shakked, launched "Wordle- The App" Monday on Apple's App Store. His app did go a bit beyond by offering five, six, and seven letter words, as well as a Pro version with unlimited play with a $29.99 yearly subscription after a 3-day free trial. Shakked took to Twitter and bragged about how many downloads the game was getting. It didn't take long for people to begin calling him out.
Twitter users were quick to let Shakked know how they felt about his newfound success. One person commented, "You gonna pay them for their intellectual property orrrrr?" Another chimed in, "How about giving credit to the person you cloned this from in the App Store and in the game?"

Shakked's version of the game could have been easily mistaken for the original. The word grid was nearly identical, and even followed the same color scheme. He also subtitled his version "Word Game Everyone's Playing." On Tuesday Shakked posted on his Twitter account that has since been made private, "This is absurd. 450 trials at 1am last night, now at 950 and getting a new ones every minute." He continued, "12K downloads, rank #28 word game, and #4 result for 'wordle' in the App Store. We're going to the f**king moon."

Shakked was not the only one trying to cash in on the viral success of Wordle. His version was one of at least six that launched in the App Store in the last eight days. One of the others was called "What Word - Wordle", and charged a $0.99 in-app purchase to remove ads. That one actually claimed to be the "No. 1 Word game" in screenshots in the App Store. The game was in fact ranked #7 according to its App Store listing. There are actually two games currently with the Wordle name still available, both of which predate Wardle's game.

Apple responded by removing Wordle copy-cats on Tuesday following all the backlash it received on social media. Shakked has also since apologized, stating, "I realize I crossed a line. And I surely, surely will never do anything remotely close to this again. I f**ked up."

Later, however, he seemed to backtrack by trying to defend himself. He said, "Wordle is a ripoff of another game," and pointed out that the game was not trademarked. He went on to rant, "In a week my app would've looked totally different and had way more functionality beyond what original dude did." He later claimed he actually lost money, "Yes I was really f**king excited when I saw how many downloads it was getting. And how much money it COULD make (I MADE $0 OFF IT AND ACTUALLY LOST MONEY). So nobody got f**ked here other than me."

People trying to cash in on games that go viral is nothing new. The action Apple took by removing the latest to do so with Wordle will in no way keep others from trying to come up with ways to cash in on the popular game in the future. Game developers have been sounding off about the practice for years, and will more than likely have to continue to do so.