"We're going to the f***ing moon."
Copies of everyone's favourite daily puzzle game Wordle are flooding onto phone app stores, including versions which feature in-app purchases, ads, and are not free to download.
In contrast, the original Wordle is web-based and completely free, and its creator has previously said he hopes to never introduce advertising.
Last night, the internet turned its fury on one self-styled entrepreneur who boasted about how much money his own Wordle rip-off was making.
— Jason Kottke (@jkottke)January 11, 2022
"This is absurd," the copycat app creator bragged. "#4 result for 'wordle' in the App Store. We're going to the fucking moon."
After going viral for all the wrong reasons, the user has since deleted their account.
Apple has apparently also taken notice, and removed some (but not all) of the Wordle clones.
However, at time of publication at least three still remain on the iOS App Store, offering a range of payment options to unlock new levels and remove advertising.
Josh Wardle, creator of the real Wordle, last week told BBC Radio 4 that he intended for the game to remain ad-free, and available to all without paying a penny.
Wardle said he had made the game simply to entertain himself and his wife, and never expected it to become this popular.
"I don't understand why something can't just be fun," Wardle concluded. "I don't have to charge people money for this and ideally would like to keep it that way."