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Daily Authority: 💰 Wordle and Bungie sell out
☕ Good morning! You might’ve expected this email to open with the Sony-Bungie deal — keep on scrolling for that….
Wordle joins NYT
The New York Times buying Wordle makes so much sense I truly wish I had predicted it.
- Wordle, the simple daily word game with “millions of daily players,” was acquired by The New York Times for “an undisclosed price in the low seven figures.”
- And, it makes sense! Wordle is great, it’s simple, easy to understand, and has millions of daily active users (DAUs).
- The Times has an enormous player base of crossword and other daily puzzle enthusiasts who happily pay $8 a month for a daily crossword puzzle and other word games.
- With the Wordle announcement made here, Josh Wardle tells us all he couldn’t manage the crazy growth for the game that went from an audience of one to millions. Anyway, apparently, it’ll be free, and the data from the games you’ve already played, like your streak and so on, will attempt to be ported over as well.
- Back in October last year, The Times’ games division had 930,000 subscribers, and at $40 or so annually, was clearing about $40M annually from the crossword. It’s incredibly popular.
- I play the Mini crossword each day and enjoy checking the leaderboards of friends and family to see how sharp/dull I was that morning.
- I saw people ask why didn’t the Times just clone the game with a few developers on hand, as others have done in various rip-offs or more fun clones like the devilish Absurdle.
- I just think once you’re established as the big dog, and you’re at all ethical, this is the way to do things.
- Plus, the Times can hardly criticize Facebook et al. for copying Snapchat’s features if it does the same…
- 👋 It’s time to say goodbye to Google’s best budget phone in years: farewell Pixel 4a (Android Authority).
- 🔥 The FBI is now urging Olympic athletes to use burner phones in Beijing, following along with a bunch of other countries (Android Authority).
- 🆙 Google details February 2022 system update across most Android devices, with bug fixes for Android phones and adds new features as well as improvements to the Google Play Store (Android Authority).
- 💻 You heard of port-free phones before, but how about a port-free laptop? (Android Authority).
- 🍎 New iOS beta suggests Apple will support push notifications from web-based apps, fixing a major gap for apps made on the web. Quite a big deal for those developers (MacRumors).
- 💻 Review: MNT Reform laptop has fully open hardware and software — for better or worse (Ars Technica).
- 🥽 “Big Tech needs to stop trying to make their Metaverse happen” (Wired).
- 🎧 Sonos acquisition fuels new headphone rumors (The Verge).
- ♟ The chess world is losing its mind over one Grandmaster trolling another (Kotaku).
- 🐯 Google Doodle welcomes Lunar New Year 2022: the Year of the Tiger (CNET).
- 🎮 Hit game It Takes Two is being adapted for film or TV, and that’s not a great idea IMHO (Engadget).
- 🔫 Everything you need to know about Halo before the Halo show (Gizmodo).
- 🎙 Joby gets serious about audio with new mics for podcasters and streamers (Engadget).
- 💺 Tesla has a new feature that will disable seat controls if you keep messing with them, probably to stop them kids messing around (The Verge).
- 🐛 Six bugs scientists want you to squash immediately (Gizmodo).
- 🤔 “Why are submarines and torpedoes blunt instead of being pointy?” (r/askscience).
So, Sony has snapped up Bungie, a $3.6 billion sale that would’ve once been a major deal — and still is — but pales in comparison to the Microsoft-Activision Blizzard deal that’s some 20 times larger at $68.7 billion.
- That said, news today is that the FTC will review that deal, instead of the Justice Department. The FTC is a little more aggressive! (Bloomberg).
It’s not the first time Bungie has been acquired:
- Microsoft bought the studio back in 2000 for somewhere around $20 million-$40 million dollars, to make Halo an Xbox launch game.
- Bungie announced that it had split from Microsoft in 2007, as the game maker decided to once again become independent.
- It’s not some knee-jerk reaction from Sony to the Activision deal, either: Sony boss Jim Ryan said the deal was in the works since as early as July 2021.
- And apparently, Ryan said, “even bigger acquisitions are on the horizon.”
- Bungie’s latest two games include Destiny and Destiny 2, both of which I’ve played but never quite managed to get into. Slick, interesting, and Destiny 2 was free with Google Stadia, but it was too big for me to think about picking up.
Anyway, to the chart, here’s a look at the gaming studio/developer/publisher landscape courtesy of a Reddit post by u/xaeleepswe — it’s too tiny to read but click here to open it and explore:
- Yes, you’ll note the likes of Nintendo, Sega, Epic (40% owned by Tencent and with a substantial Sony investment as well), aren’t here.
- Lots of discussion here.
Tristan Rayner, Senior Editor