The developer behind an App Store app that cloned the popular word game Wordle has apologized, saying that he "crossed a line" and that he won't do it again.
Wordle has taken the internet by storm over the last couple of weeks. A simple game that has people try to go guess a five-letter word, Wordle is free to play via the developer's website. That inevitably saw the App Store fill with clones that have now been removed by Apple. Developer Zach Shakked, the man behind one of the clones, has taken to Twitter to apologize saying that he won't make the same mistake again after receiving abuse online.
This comes after Shakked posted screenshots showing how the app was racking up free trials "every minute" just hours before.
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
Things soon went downhill, however. Once the internet — and Apple — became aware of the clone, Shakked began receiving the wrong kind of attention on Twitter and took to posting a lengthy thread explaining the situation.
Here were my calculations:
a) Wordle is a ripoff of another game
b) Wordle the word isn't trademarked and there's a bunch of other unrelated word apps named the same thing
c) Wow, I'll hack together something on the weekend and see if I can make a buck
Shakked went on to say that he crossed the line and that he won't be making the same mistake twice.
I realize I crossed a line. And I surely, surely will never do anything remotely close to this again.
At its peak it appears that Shakkad's app had almost 50,000 people on its trial that would presumably have been charged $30 once it came to an end. He does however note that he didn't make any money on the app and that he "actually lost money" overall.
It isn't immediately clear whether a sanctioned Worlde game will make an App Store debut in the future but for now, the mobile game works just fine on iPhone regardless.