Apple has pulled the ‘Wordle’ clone app from the App Store. The follows a brisk period when ‘Wordle – The App’, the copycat app of the popular word-guessing browser game, was published on the marketplace.
On the evening of January 12, an app developer by the name of Zach Shakked of Shakd, LLC began discussing the reception online to his Wordle app. On Twitter, Shakked noted that his app received “450 trials at 1am last night, now at 950 and getting a new one every minute.” However, what many were quick to point out was how similar ‘Wordle – The App’ was to the original free game that has taken the internet by storm.
This is absurd. 450 trials at 1am last night, now at 950 and getting a new ones every minute. 12K downloads, rank #28 word game, and #4 result for “wordle” in the App Store. We’re going to the fucking moon. pic.twitter.com/fE7fsgYVJC
— Zach (@zachshakked) January 11, 2022
Many who frequent the internet may be familiar with Wordle. For the uninitiated, Wordle began building popularity in late December. Wordle was developed by Josh Wardle and is a word guessing game. Players attempt to guess the five-letter word each day in six attempts. Players are then given a 5×6 block of results they can share on social media. It’s also free to play each day by visiting the site. Currently, Wardle has not developed a mobile app for his unique game.
Wordle – The App appeared to have taken many core aspects of Wardle’s game and adapted them into an App made for iOS. On top of copying the core concept of guessing a five-letter word in six tries, Wordle – The App also adopted the same colour scheme and layout of Wardle’s game. Many users noted that Shakked’s app offered a ‘Pro’ subscription, which charged users $30 USD for unlimited play. However, Shakked’s app did provide the option to play four, six, and seven-letter words too. Shakked began facing backlash as his aforementioned tweet began gaining traction.
Utterly brazen, and he even has the nerve to charge money for it via a “pro” version unlock. If I were Josh Wardle I’d be engaging lawyers right now. https://t.co/fnaScleG2S
— Gary Whitta (@garywhitta) January 11, 2022
Overnight, Apple appears to have pulled Shakked’s app from the App Store. Andy Baio of Skittish began chronicling the ordeal, noted the disappearance of the app. On top of removing Shakked’s Wordle clone, Apple has wiped the slate clean, removing all Wordle clones from the App Store.
Update: Apple just removed all the Wordle clones from the App Store. Sorry, grifters! Time to find a new target for your unoriginal schemes. https://t.co/F8u44vc7nE
— Andy Baio (@waxpancake) January 12, 2022
As for Shakked, he has since reflected on the night after his tweet went semi-viral. On multiple occasions, Shakked pointed out that Wordle is not trademarked by Wardle. Shakked also said that his thought process was: “I’ll hack together something on the weekend and see if I can make a buck.”