Flappy Bird developer Dong Nguyen has removed his game from the iTunes store and Google Play Store. The news follows his tweet that stated he would take down the game in 22 hours.
For those who are somehow unaware of what Flappy Bird is, it’s a very simple tap to fly casual game with a shoddy hitbox, making it rather difficult. The game approriates art from Super Mario and seems to be heavily derivative of a 2011 game called Piou Piou(itself a clone of an old flash game). It’s obvious that this was not intended to be a breakout hit; it reminds me more of baby’s first mobile game. But for some reason, the free app became extremely popular and made number one on the iTunes Store free apps chart. Despite the app being free, Nguyen was allegedly making $50,000 (USD) a day in ad revenue. Although the game has now been removed from both the iTunes and Google Play Store, he still continues to make ad revenue on the 50 million people who have already downloaded it.
Some have begun to speculate about why he would so hastily remove such a popular product. Nguyen tweeted that the game’s success has ruined his simple life and he has grown to hate his own creation, but still wants to make games. Although, it may be due to legal issues regarding the similar aforementioned 2011 game Piou Piou. I think it’s a combination of those things and the added pressure of being a well known developer for a game a lot of people (including myself) think is kak. I have to admire his honesty though. He could’ve milked this cow for all it was worth, but decided to take the humble option. If I were in his position, I’d use the revenue to make a better game.
All that Flappy Bird shows us is the power of a trend. If something is trending, it instantly becomes popular, if only for a short while. It could be the most basic of games, just add a simple challenge, a score, and a leader board and you’re set. It doesn’t end here though, some other budding entrepreneurs have tried selling iPhones with Flappy Bird installed on eBay for truly stupid prices. Take a look at the current bid and then weep. As for Nguyen, I wish him luck on any of his future endeavours.
Last Updated: February 10, 2014