The creator of Wordle says his success story was counterintuitive, with unorthodox choices like once-a-day play, having it be web-only with a hard-to-remember URL, and no monetization. Then The New York Times came calling when he was feeling “immense pressure” about managing the game:
I made this game, but I had no interest in running a game business. Basically, I think of myself as an artist, I really enjoy creating things. Running a gaming business is not interesting to me. And I think I think that for some people, it [would have been] different. But for me, this was really clear.
(More on Josh Wardle’s recent speech to game developers here. Also, he says the earliest version of Wordle had a tougher word list back in 2013.)