Publishers turn to games to boost engagement

Together with

The Future. After NYT acquired the viral Wordle in 2022, news publishers and tech platforms have gone on a game-creating spree to keep users coming back daily and eventually engage with their core offerings. Don’t be surprised if some experimental organizations start adding games within stories that unlock new details or hidden features to hook readers.

The Wordle effect
Introducing games to their platforms has scored publishers record engagement.

  • News sites like The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, and Vox Media have added several new games, as well as tech platforms Apple News and LinkedIn.
  • Theyre typically word-based brainteasers or logic puzzles that complement the vibe of the publications or apps.
  • The games get people in the daily habit of playing, stretching their intellect, and competing with friends — like a sophisticated Snap streak.

Jonathan Knight, head of games at NYT, says that subscribers who engage with both games and news have “some of the best long-term subscriber retention” for the paper. Additionally, subscriptions for non-news products, such as Games, are growing faster than new subscriptions for news.

After reading a ton of depressing headlines, we guess people just want to decompress… and need more than just the classic crossword.

David Vendrell

Born and raised a stone’s-throw away from the Everglades, David left the Florida swamp for the California desert. Over-caffeinated, he stares at his computer too long either writing the TFP newsletter or screenplays. He is repped by Anonymous Content.


No design skills needed! 🪄✨

Canva Pro is the design software that makes design simple, convenient, and reliable. Create what you need in no time! Jam-packed with time-saving tools that make anyone look like a professional designer.

Create amazing content quickly with Canva