The developer of an app called Wordle, which was released five years ago, has donated its profits to charity after hundreds of thousands of people mistakenly downloaded it in an attempt to play the popular new browser game also called Wordle .
Steven Cravotta created the mobile game Wordle when he was 18 years old, but it recently saw an increase across app stores due to the popularity of Wordle browser games.
"I built an app called Wordle when I was 18, mostly for fun, to sharpen my coding skills and maybe make some quick money," he said via Twitter. "It did not quite take off as my previous app, Grid, did. So after a few months and [around] 100,000 total downloads, I stopped updating and promoting the app. "
Here's how a mobile game I built 5 years ago was suddenly blown up by The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Jimmy Fallon.
👇🏼👇🏼👇🏼 pic.twitter.com/aun7YM80p4- Steven (@StevenCravotta) January 12, 2022
"That user growth has slowly dropped to 1-2 downloads a day in the last 4 years," he explained. "Until 1 week ago when I logged in to my dashboard and was SHOCKED at what I saw."
Of course, the browser game Wordle has become a global sensation after it appeared in The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. It is even played by celebrities like Jimmy Fallon.
Although the game is free to play in any online browser, Wordle's popularity has led to an increase in searches for the game in mobile app stores. And this is where the five-year-old Wordle app comes in.
"I figured someone was running a bot script and sending artificial downloads to the wrong app or something," he explained. "But after a quick google search, I realized I was very wrong. As it turns out the very talented developer [Josh Wardle] created an amazing in-browser game called Wordle. "
Cravotta says the instant popularity of the new Wordle game caused a bit of confusion, mainly because some publications failed to make it clear that the new game was available in online browsers.
"Obviously, people went to the AppStore to search Wordle," he explained. "Do and see, the people encountered my app, also aptly named Wordle. My Wordle app has received 200,000 downloads in the last 7 days, and it's not even slower yet."
Although Cravotta could have raised the money himself, he instead reached out to new Wordle creator Josh Wardle, and together they chose to donate the unexpected profits to charity.
"I thought we could do this very strange, once in a lifetime scenario and turn it into something amazing!" he said.
In the end, they decided to donate the app proceeds to Boost! West Oakland, a charity that offers free continuing education to children in Oakland, California.
Given Wordle's literacy-based gameplay, it's an appropriate charity to take advantage of the unexpected boost in sales. And while other apps try to take advantage of Worldle's popularity by creating clone apps it's nice to see something good come out of this mix.
Ryan Leston is an entertainment journalist and film critic for IGN. You can follow him further Twitter.