Hearst’s unexpected video game acquisition is great news for Wordle fans

Earlier this fall, Puzzmo emerged as the worthiest competitor yet to The New York Times’ gaming efforts, serving as a hub for a variety of engaging puzzles that people can complete daily. Following the same trajectory as Wordle, Puzzmo just got unexpectedly acquired by another notable media company: Hearst.

Puzzmo is a puzzle game website modeled off of physical newspaper pages. It’s a daily hub where players can play original games by acclaimed developer Zach Gage, including original spins on classics like Chess and its own daily crossword. It looked like a true answer to The New York Times, and Hearst appears to have seen that value.

A look at a daily Puzzmo page.

Hearst owns local media outlets across the U.S., like the San Francisco Chronicle and Houston Chronicle, and is incorporating Puzzmo into “more than 50” of the brands it owns. A representative for the company clarified to Digital Trends that this mainly comes via implementing it into the online versions of outlets like the San Francisco Chronicle. Hearst also sees Puzzmo as a platform for making puzzle games, so it’s actually giving those sites no-code tools that they can use to customize Puzzmo for their outlet.

Hearst plans to license Puzzmo to other media publishers — like Digg, Postmedia, The Skimm, and Vox — so they can create their own versions of Puzzmo for their sites. Hearst also teased that it’s collaborating with The Weather Channel to integrate its data into the Puzzmo platform so it can used by people making new games and features on the platform.

While ownership of Puzzmo is changing hands, the platform’s creators, Orta Therox and Zach Gage, are staying on board to “lead game development and technology for the platform.” As for whether or not versions of Puzzmo will show up in print, a Hearst representative tells Digital Trends that that’s not the team’s focus right now.

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