'Wordle' creator Josh Wardle has confirmed he was planning to call it 'Mr. Bugs’ Wordy Nugz'.

Wordle very nearly had a very different name

Wordle very nearly had a very different name

The web-based word game - which was acquired by The New York Times in 2022 - might not have been as successful which such a long, bizarre title.

Speaking at Figma’s Config conference on Wednesday (26.06.24), he said: “This is true: I was going to call Wordle, Mr. Bugs’ Wordy Nugz.

“Had I called the game Mr. Bugs, I like to think it would not have been successful.”

He was inspired by the iconic quiz show 'Mastermind' back in 2013 to make what would become 'Wordle' for his partner, but he “put it on the back burner" and forgot about it for several years.

James was also inspired by The New York Times’ crossword and its Spelling Bee game.

He went against the grain and made a website instead of an app, which he believes helped with the success.

James said: “This was something else I did that you’re not meant to do. I made a website.

"I think a lot of the thinking around games was that you want apps so you can catch your audience. You can send them push notifications. I didn’t want to do any of that. It was just [my partner] and I playing the game. So making a website seemed so obvious to me.”

He decided to sell the game to the publication because he had no desire to run a games business.

James explained: “I think this took a lot of people by surprise.

“It was a very clear decision for me to sell the game. I didn’t want to run a games business. I’m interested in creating things.

“It was obvious due to the success of Wordle that I could make my life if I wanted to.

“But there are a bunch of things that I wouldn’t enjoy about running a games business. And it just felt so clear to me that that wasn’t something I wanted any part of.”

He insists he never wanted to make money from the game that he made for his wife.

James continued: “All of this comes back to [that] I’m building the game for my partner. I’m not going to show her ads or try and upsell her on a premium subscription. But it’s even though I didn’t want to make money from Wordle, it quickly became apparent to me that there were other people who were going to make money off Wordle, whether I was involved or not."

On having no intention of making a viral phenomenon, he said: “I was trying to do something that was authentic to me. I was trying to build something for someone that I loved. It just so happened a bunch of other people loved it.”

Asked what his one piece of advice for other creators is, he replied: “Don’t try to make Wordle. Make the thing that you’re passionate about that is meaningful to you. And then everything else will follow from that.”