Apple Inc said on Wednesday it has removed from its App Store several knockoffs of Wordle, a website-only word game that has seen a recent surge in popularity thanks to celebrities like Jimmy Fallon.
The once-a-day online word game, originally created in October by former Reddit software engineer Josh Wardle, can only be played on his website and does not have a mobile app.
However, several developers have created identical app versions to cash in on surging demand for the game, with unsuspecting users driving up downloads of the clone apps.
As of Wednesday, the only remaining product on the App Store with that title was Wordle!, a time-based game created by Steven Cravotta more than four years ago.
Josh Wardle’s game has flooded Twitter and Facebook timelines in recent weeks as players posted their scores. It gives a player six chances to guess the day’s secret word, which has five letters, and the aim is to figure out the secret word with the fewest guesses.
The game is a free-to-use, ad-less experience on a simple website that does not have to be downloaded from Apple’s App Store or Google’s PlayStore.
Bloomberg News first reported the news on Wednesday.
—Reporting by Eva Mathews in Bengaluru; Editing by Devika Syamnath