Steven Cravotta created an app called “Wordle!” when he was 18.
As Wordle, the five-letter online word game continues to be a global rage, a US-based marketing coordinator noticed that a mobile app he had created when he was a teenager saw a massive surge in downloads.
Steven Cravotta had created an app called “Wordle!” five years ago, when he was 18, named the same as the now-viral, browser-only game created by Josh Wardle.
“I built an app called Wordle when I was 18 mostly for fun, to sharpen my coding skills, and maybe make a quick buck. It didn’t quite take off like my previous app, Grid, did. So after a few months and ~100k total downloads, I stopped updating and promoting the app,” Cravotta narrated in a Twitter thread on Wednesday.
The app’s growth eventually declined to just about one or two downloads for the last four years. That is, until about a week ago, when it got two lakh downloads in just seven days.
Unsuspecting users, looking for the viral, browser-only game “Wordle”, ended up downloading the app “Wordle!” instead.
Cravotta said he reached out to Wardle to see if they could donate the proceeds he has received from the app’s downloads somewhere.
“I figured we could turn this very strange, once in a lifetime scenario and make it something amazing. Any suggestions on where this money should go would be much appreciated. Preferably a literacy focused non-profit / organisation,” he said.
Meanwhile, Apple Inc has removed from its App Store several knockoffs of Wordle after several developers created identical app versions to cash in on surging demand for the game.
As of Wednesday, the only remaining product on the App Store with that title was Cravotta’s “Wordle!”
The browser-only Wordle’s rise has been meteoric: according to The New York Times, 90 people played on November 1. Two months later, on January 2, more than three lakh people tackled the challenge. The Guardian put the daily player count last weekend at two million, and rising.
Read: What is Wordle and why has it caught the attention of everyone on Twitter?
Wardle, a software engineer based in Brooklyn but originally from Wales, who created the game for his word-game loving partner Palak Shah, has decided not to monetise the game.