There's been no shortage of games like Wordle springing up since the daily word puzzle took the internet by storm in 2021. Even after Wordle was purchased by the New York Times, its success has continued, and not just among players—as we reported last month, Wordle has led to a rise in paid subscriptions to the NYT's games collection, even though Wordle itself is free.
The same long-running success, unfortunately, can't be said for other Wordle-like games. One of the most popular Wordle clones, called Heardle, gave Wordle's puzzle format a musical spin. In Heardle you listen to the first second of a song and try to guess what song it is, with each wrong guess (or pass) giving you a bit more of the song's intro to base your guess on.
Heardle was popular enough to be purchased by Spotify in July of 2022, but less than a year after spending an undisclosed sum to buy it, Spotify is shutting it down. Daily Heardle players now receive a brief and gloomy message when visiting the site to play the music puzzle game:
"Thanks for playing Heardle, but unfortunately we have to say goodbye. From May 5th, Heardle will no longer be available," the message reads.
That's a big bummer. No reason for the shutdown is given, but perhaps the game just didn't lead to a rise in paid subscriptions the way Wordle did for the NYT. When it bought the game, Spotify said it saw Heardle as not just a puzzle game but "a tool for musical discovery" that "aligns with our plans to deepen interactivity across the Spotify ecosystem."
I guess that didn't pan out. It's a shame: Heardle is a fun daily puzzle and an inventive twist on the Wordle format, and I can't imagine it's too difficult or costly to maintain. If you play Heardle and want to preserve your stats, players are urged to "take a screenshot" of their stats page before May 4, otherwise they'll be lost forever.