Store rate

‘Wordle’ clones further illustrate the app store retention problem

Clones of the popular “Wordle” guessing game are flooding the App Store, including one that steals the name and hijacks the intent of the original with in-app subscriptions. It is in Apple’s best interests to remove them.

The Twitter banner of the iOS clone “Wordle”

Zach Shakked is the developer of “Wordle – The App”, a guessing game on the App Store. The problem is, the App Store version is a blatant scam of the current Wordle, which was created by Josh wardle and only exists as a browser game.

More than that, the original Wordle is completely free – with the caveat that players only get one chance to guess the word of the day. Shakked’s App Store clone, on the other hand, charges users $ 30 per month for “unlimited guesswork.”

Copiers and scams are not uncommon, as trademarks and copyrights in mechanics and concepts are difficult and expensive to obtain. Even the original Wordle builds on a foundation established by earlier games like Lingo.

However, the Shakked clone is more egregious as it shamelessly steals everything on Wordle, even its name – a pun on the original developer’s last name, Wardle. He also charges money for a concept Wardle has promised to keep simple and ad-free.

Shakked also managed to spark controversy because he shamelessly bragged about the number of downloads his clone was seeing. At last count, the scam version on the App Store has racked up tens of thousands of downloads.

This is all also coming from a person who, in June 2021, said that he “absolutely despises[s] copiers. “

A 2021 tweet from the developer of
A 2021 tweet from the developer of the “Wordle” clone.

Wardle, the original developer of “Wordle”, does not appear to own the copyright to the name. However, while the clone is not technically illegal, it does violate the developers guidelines of the Apple App Store. And Apple is not doing anything about it.

Directive 4.1, for example, prohibits developers from copying other applications. In fact, he says developers shouldn’t “make minor changes to the name or UI of another app and pass it off as [their] clean. ”Shakked, for his part, didn’t even bother to change the name.

In other words, Apple has the right to remove the copy “Wordle” application. And, he should.

Fairness aside, Apple has also criticized it for allegedly allowing fraudulent and copied apps to rampage on the App Store. He argued that the rate of egregious clones is quite low, but in the case of a viral hit like “Wordle” he has even more reason to remove the copier.

When it comes to consumers and App Store users, you have a choice to download the iOS version of “Wordle” and fork out the cash for a shameless scam. Or, you can just play the original “Wordle” for free online.

If you want advice from us, we recommend the latter.

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