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 straight up towards the gaming efforts of The New York Occasions. Phrases of the deal weren’t disclosed. As a comparability, in 2022 The New York Times acquired Wordle for “an undisclosed value within the low seven figures.”
Puzzmo launched in a restricted beta kind in October and is billed as a reimagining of the classic newspaper games page. It options a variety of notable Gage-designed titles like SpellTower, Really Bad Chess, and Typeshift, together with a streamlined each day crossword puzzle. The location additionally options neighborhood options like leaderboards and multiplayer choices. “There’s nice stuff on the market,” Gage advised 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 the moment operates as a web site, with a cellular app within the works. However Puzzmo can even start rolling out to readers of greater than 50 Hearst publications, together with the San Francisco Chronicle and Common Mechanics.
Moreover, Hearst might 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 web site, full with the identical library of video games. (In a press launch, Hearst explains that “The platform contains zero-code instruments for publishers exterior of Hearst’s community to tailor Puzzmo’s feel and look, settings, video games, and paywall to their distinctive wants.”)
To start out, the checklist 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 facility, flexibility, and scalability of what we’ve constructed makes it a sensible alternative for publishers, and we’re excited to succeed in so many gamers throughout Hearst’s viewers,” Therox stated in an announcement.
In accordance with Gage, the success of Wordle was necessary for displaying simply how large these newspaper-style puzzle video games may be. “It’s really nice to have one thing on the market that has confirmed the dimensions of the market,” he advised The Verge in October. “As a result of proper now, everyone seems to be attempting to do it. For us, as a extremely small firm, it’s wonderful: we’ve got the precise product for this market.”