Developer behind Wordle App Store clone admits he 'crossed a line' after being called out

Wordle
Wordle (Image credit: Josh Wardle)

What you need to know

  • Developer Zach Shakked has apologized for creating an app that cloned the popular word game Wordle.
  • The app was free with a $30 per year subscription.
  • Shakked received quite the backlash on Twitter.

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.

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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.

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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.

Oliver Haslam
Contributor

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.

2 Comments
  • Good! Glad to hear it.
  • A greedy vulture who tried to cash in on someone else’s design. Sure, the game is not original and is based on Lingo, but to blatantly ripped off the developer’s website design and take credit for it and also charge people $30 is what set us off.