The battle over newspaper-style puzzle video games is intensifying. Hearst — which publishes the likes of Cosmopolitan, Esquire, and the San Francisco Chronicle — has introduced that it has acquired Puzzmo, a puzzle gaming platform led by indie builders Zach Gage and Orta Therox. The transfer places Hearst immediately up towards the gaming efforts of The New York Instances. Phrases of the deal weren’t disclosed. As a comparability, in 2022 The New York Instances acquired Wordle for “an undisclosed worth within the low seven figures.”
Puzzmo launched in a restricted beta type in October and is billed as a reimagining of the basic newspaper video games web page. It options a lot of notable Gage-designed titles like SpellTower, Actually Dangerous Chess, and Typeshift, together with a streamlined each day crossword puzzle. The positioning additionally options neighborhood options like leaderboards and multiplayer choices. “There’s nice stuff on the market,” Gage instructed me in October of the newspaper video games area. “However there isn’t this holistic place the place folks can go and construct a neighborhood round these video games.”
As a part of the deal, Gage and Therox will proceed to develop Puzzmo, which at present operates as an internet site, with a cell app within the works. However Puzzmo may even start rolling out to readers of greater than 50 Hearst publications, together with the San Francisco Chronicle and Common Mechanics.
Moreover, Hearst will probably be licensing out Puzzmo video games to different publishers. In accordance with the corporate, these offers “are structured as rev-shares on each subscription and promoting income.” Every writer will get a branded model of the Puzzmo website, full with the identical library of video games. (In a press launch, Hearst explains that “The platform consists of zero-code instruments for publishers outdoors of Hearst’s community to tailor Puzzmo’s feel and appear, settings, video games, and paywall to their distinctive wants.”)
To start out, the listing of publishers licensing the service embody the likes of Digg, Postmedia, and Polygon (which, disclosure, is a part of Vox Media alongside The Verge).
“The ability, flexibility, and scalability of what we’ve constructed makes it a wise selection for publishers, and we’re excited to succeed in so many gamers throughout Hearst’s viewers,” Therox mentioned in a press release.
In accordance with Gage, the success of Wordle was vital for displaying simply how huge these newspaper-style puzzle video games will be. “It’s really nice to have one thing on the market that has confirmed the dimensions of the market,” he instructed The Verge in October. “As a result of proper now, everyone seems to be attempting to do it. For us, as a very small firm, it’s wonderful: now we have the precise product for this market.”