Wordle moved from its original web address to one run by the New York Times (NYT) last weekend and some players are not happy.
Those still playing the daily word game on the original website – because they downloaded it or have not refreshed their browser – are getting different words to solve from the NYT version.
That is because the paper has removed five-letter words it deemed offensive.
But it has denied the other big fans’ complaint – that it has got harder.
The game, which asks players to find a five-letter word each day with clues along the way, has grown in popularity from fewer than 100 players in November to millions by the end of January.
Its creator, Josh Wardle, initially said he didn’t intend to make money from the game but later sold it to the NYT for an undisclosed seven-figure sum.
Many fans took to Twitter to complain that since the NYT took over its stewardship – with words such as ultra and caulk – the puzzle appeared more challenging.
Comedian Trevor Noah summed up many people’s feelings, tweeting: “Wordle isn’t fun since the New York Times took over. Is it just me?”
And another player, Denise Dewald, felt that the game had lost some of its original appeal – simplicity.
The NYT denied any changes to gameplay, but it did admit that it was in the process of removing “offensive words” which included whore, slave and wench from both the list of acceptable guesses and the answers.
That is why players of the original version are now out of sync with the NYT version.
One of the big appeals of the game was that players were all solving the same word each day. The loss of this shared experience and the fact that there are now competing versions has angered fans.
In response, the NYT is urging everyone to migrate to its version.
As to what may happen next, the paper has said the game will remain free, for the time being at least.
Meanwhile, fan Bill Fletcher called for calm in the Wordle community.