Wordl, the hit game of early 2022, is so popular that the creator of a whole different game, also called Wordl!, sees tremendous business growth and donates the proceeds from his app to charity.

Steven Cravotta created an app he called Wordle! when he was 18, but it has suffered for the past five years. “When I was 18, I made an app called Wordle, mostly for fun, to improve my coding skills and maybe make a quick buck,” Cravotta explained in a Twitter thread. “It didn’t perform as well as my previous App Grid. So after a few months and a total of ~100,000 downloads I stopped updating and promoting the app.”

He further explained that his version of Wordle, a timed word game, has had an average of one or two downloads per day for the past four years. In the past week, that number has jumped to nearly 200,000 thanks to the success of Josh Wardle’s popular word game.

Cravotta tells Rolling Stone that the increase in downloads initially amazed him. “My first reaction was that all the downloads were fake,” he says. “A quick Google search was all it took to find out I was wrong and people were mistaking my app for Josh’s.”

Wordle, the new game, is not played with an app but with an internet browser. Still, Cravotta’s app has seen a massive surge in downloads, with many people assuming his app is the Zeitgeist game. Realizing what was going on, Cravotta decided to contact Wardle.

“I’ve read the articles on Josh’s Wordle and I respect his mission to keep the game free, with no ads or tracking,” says Cravotta. “With that in mind, I thought we could turn that lucky scenario into something amazing. Both of our apps are word-based games, so I thought we should donate the profits to a literacy organization. I reached out to Josh and we worked together to agree on donating the proceeds to Boost Mobile.”

Funds raised by the Wordle app go to Thrust! West Oakland, a nonprofit organization focused on youth literacy in Oakland, California.

Wardle, a software developer in Brooklyn, originally created Wordle for his partner who loves word games. He launched the game online last October and it has since become a cultural phenomenon.

“I think people kind of appreciate that there’s something online that’s just fun,” says Wardle told The New York Times. “It’s not about doing something shady with your data or your eyeballs. It’s just a fun game.”

Cravotta, who recently developed an app called puff count, which helps users to quit vaping is as much a fan of Wordle as the rest of us. “Personally, I play Wordle every day,” he confirms. “It’s a beautifully constructed game and very addictive. Wish Josh all the success in the world.”

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