Right now, as anyone who has seen the evidence on Twitter will eagerly attest, one of the most popular and visible online games is Wordle.
This is a simple but compelling word game in which you try to identify a five-letter English word in as few tries as possible. On each guess, the letters are labelled as either green (correct), yellow (incorrect, but present elsewhere in the word) or grey (completely wrong).
Perhaps unsurprisingly, a number of app developers have tried to piggyback on Wordle’s success by launching unofficial clones of the game on the App Store. (Note that there isn’t an official version for iOS; it’s only available online.) Some have copied the gameplay, while others have even used the same name. And while the original game is free, the clones include one that charges an astonishing $30 a year for a Pro version that gives you extra guesses, and whose ‘creator’ has been boasting about how well it’s doing.
This guy shamelessly cloned Wordle (name and all) as an F2P iOS game with in-app purchases and is bragging about how well it’s doing and how he’ll get away with it because Josh Wardle didn’t trademark it. So gross. pic.twitter.com/kIs8BypuRA— Andy Baio (@waxpancake) January 11, 2022
After heavy criticism, Apple has now decided to remove these copies, as highlighted by MacRumors. And the dev quoted above has been defending his behaviour, slightly unconvincingly, on Twitter.
The original version of Wordle was created by Josh Wardle, who has promised that it will remain completely free in the future. Here’s how to get the real Wordle app on your iPhone or iPad.
This article originally appeared on Macworld Sweden. Translation (using DeepL) and additional reporting by David Price.