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Apple appears to have removed most of the unlicensed Wordle game clones that had been flooding the App Store.
Following an outcry about the free word-guessing Wordle game being cloned for profit by multiple app developers, the majority have been removed. Google has seemingly also removed many from the Google Play Store.
Neither company has announced the move, which has seem the blatant ripoffs purged. These include the unofficial “Wordle – the App,” by Zach Shakked, which took creator Josh Wardle‘s free web game and charged users $30 per month.
The clones have been downloaded tens of thousands of times, and may have been the impetus for the purge. Shakked, who has previously decried app copycats, also publicly boasted about how well his clone was doing.
Apple’s App Store Guidelines preclude such clones, though each one was originally passed as approved by the company’s app curators. Apple has previously been criticized for allowing copycat apps, but it appears to have retrospectively taken steps to prevent this particular spate of them.