‘Wordle’ owner kills over 1900 alleged clones

The New York Times has issued a takedown notice to Wordle clone Reactle, impacting a further 1900 games in the process.

Not only was Reactle a spelling-based game heavily inspired by Wordle, but the open-source project also contained instructions on how players could create their own take on the game. It was popular as well, with gamers able to utilise non-english languages and pull from a more specific pool of words for their take on the game.

However, The New York Times recently filed a DMCA takedown notice to Reactle creator Chase Wackerfuss.


“I write to submit a revised DMCA Notice regarding an infringing repository (and hundreds of forked repositories) hosted by Github that instruct users how to infringe The New York Times Co.’s (‘The Times’) copyright in its immensely popular Wordle game and create knock-off copies of the same,” reads the notice, with Reactle soon removed from Github.

The New York Times extended the notice to include the 1900 projects that were built in “bad faith” by the Reactle code.

“Unfortunately, hundreds of individuals have followed these instructions and published infringing Wordle knock-off games that The Times has spent the past month removing,” said The New York Times. “Gameplay is copied exactly in the repository, and the owner instructs others how to knock off the game and create an identical word game”.

Since The New York Times acquired Wordle for a figure in the low seven-figures two years ago, the company has been battling a number of spin-offs. Taylordle used Taylor Swift lyrics, Worldle tested a player’s geography skills and Weezer created their own take on the game – Weasel.


The decision has been met with backlash, with many pointing out that The New York Times only offers an English-language version of Wordle, with some of the Reactle-built clones using Korean, Bosnian and Yorùbá words. Games built before The New York Times’ takeover have also been targeted.

In a statement shared by The Verge, The New York times wrote: “The Times has no issue with individuals creating similar word games that do not infringe The Times’s ‘Wordle’ trademarks or copyrighted gameplay. The Times took action against a GitHub user and others who shared his code to defend its intellectual property rights.”

Earlier this week, it was reported that Nintendo Switch emulator Yuzu is to shut down after Nintendo took legal action. The takedown extends to their Nintendo 3DS emulator Citra and the company must also pay Nintendo £1.9billion

In other news, Epic Games’ battle royale Fortnite is currently experiencing some unprecedented downtown after issues with a new update.