Advertisement

One of Wordle's most requested features has nothing to do with words

 Wordle answers.
Wordle answers.

When I meet with Jonathan Knight, Head of Games for the New York Times, I have one big, burning question:

"What's your Wordle streak?"

He takes out his phone to check. "I'm at 184 right now," says Knight, who before joining the New York Times worked as a producer at EA, Activision, Zynga, and Warner Bros. "Every day for me, it gets more and more stressful. I've been stressed out lately playing Wordle."

I know the stress of trying to keep a streak alive, and I lament that my own Wordle streak was recently up to 87, but I blew it—not because I got a word wrong but because one day I completely forgot to open the app. Miss a day, and your streak resets to zero.

"I know the feeling," Knight tells me. "That's why I'm only at 184 even though I've been playing it for three years."

Turns out, blowing your streak by missing a day is a major concern for Wordle players, and they're not shy about letting NYT Games know it.

"It's funny, one of the most requested features for Wordle is a notification to remind you to play. I've never worked on a game in my life where users are asking for more notifications," he says, laughing.

As for whether NYT Games will grant that request, Knight isn't sure. Notifications, he says, are "usually a tactic that publishers use to suck people in and get them hooked. And that's not what we're about. We're not trying to get 24/7 engagement out of people.

"It's a daily puzzle. We want our app to be time well spent. We want us to fit into your daily life," he says. "We don't need to hook you, addict you." Knight says notifications may be added, but it won't be "in our immediate future."

As for other features, Knight says the most common request from Wordle players is: don't change Wordle. "Number one, don't do anything," Knight says. "People don't want us to mess with it." It's the same philosophy Wordle's Executive Producer Zoe Bell said last year, when she also revealed the word that broke the most streaks in Wordle history.