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iOS 17.5 shows Apple following the New York Times playbook with games

Last week at the White House Correspondents Dinner, SNL’s Colin Jost joked about how The New York Times—the country’s most successful news publication—was only kept alive by Wordle and other puzzle games. The Times didn’t appreciate the remark.

Apple has clearly been paying attention to the Times’ success, though, as its latest strategy for boosting Apple News+ subscribers is a heaping dose of puzzle games. After launching crosswords last fall, another News+ game is on its way with iOS 17.5’s impending release: Quartiles.

Also noteworthy: both crosswords and Quartiles will be equipped with Game Center support in iOS 17.5. So much of Wordle’s initial popularity was tied to social sharing, and now in its own way, Apple is making it possible to play News+ games alongside your friends and in competition with others.

Will Apple’s games-focused strategy for News+ be successful? Here’s why it might.