Me neither. But according to a January 5 post on the NY Times website, they have a whole team of game designers on staff.
The piece is written by Sam Von Ehren, one of the game designers that works at the company. Given that the demographic of NY Times readers is probably not particularly knowledgeable about gamemaking, the bulk of his writing is about how games are made, and what games are, rather than the more burning question of “where are the games?”
Everyone knows the crossword and Sudoku, both of which can be played on the NY Times website, but apparently the NY Times also releases small game prototypes from time to time, after playtesting them on their co-workers. Von Ehren notes that the most successful games are the ones with “a focus on language and logic,” and other non-wordy games like their physics puzzler Gravity Golf (no longer available) were not a hit.
There are currently only a handful of games available on the NY Times site: the crossword and Spelling Bee can only be accessed by subscribers, but Sudoku, SET and KenKen can be played for free. Keep an eye out for any new prototypes – you could stumble upon the next big hit among 30-to-49-year-old commuters.
Next time your parents tell you that there aren’t any jobs in games, remind them that there are positions for game developers at the New York Times, and they might back off. No promises.