Flappy Bird flies no more, developer pulls game from App stores


This simple, yet charming game which was originally released back in mid 2013 has become a recent craze over the past few weeks. Not only to see a meteoric rise hitting number 1 in the Apple App Store and Google’s Play store but also netting the Vietnamese developer, Dong Nguyen a cool $50,000 a day in ad revenue.

The game mechanics are simple and very much like the old Helicopter games found online; you tap the screen to make the bird flap once to ascend in the air and your task is to fly in between the pipes of different heights to achieve a high score. It is this pure and simple gameplay, with its difficulty level which has seen mobile games either love or hate the game, encouraging that “one-more-go” mentality.

So what went wrong? Here was a game which was simple to play yet difficult to master, was created in a few hours in his spare time, hit the number 1 slot in the App stores and was netting Dong Nguyen a cool $50,000 (£30,500) a day. Many indie developers would love this kind of publicity and success, however sadly it has impacted the developer a lot more than he initially thought.

News dropped on Saturday that he would be pulling the game from Apple’s App Store and the Google Play store;

Speculation online was then rife as to why he would pull a game while it is at its peak, some thinking that he could have been in legal trouble due to the pixel art looking very similar to the sprites used in a Nintendo videogame, or most likely, the barrage of abuse which was sent to him via email, social media networks and how it has disturbed his private life.

True to his word, the game Flappy Bird is no longer available to download on the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store, not long after a Windows Phone version was certified as well. No doubt there will be many clones to try and take a share of that ad revenue but it is a shame that developer Dong Nguyen felt so strongly about the publicity his game has gathered, positive or negative, that drastic action was required.

eMagi’s Take
Following the story as it was breaking, it seems that Dong Nguyen didn’t appreciate the publicity that Flappy Bird had gathered and it interfered with his day-to-day task. Some welcome the extra attention, whilst others just enjoy being in the background. While yes it is a frustrating game to play, it was that frustration and the simple gameplay that made it addictive, knowing full well that you could have just flew past one more pipe for that high score.

For those who have already downloaded the game to their mobile devices then you can still continue to enjoy the game and for those who have missed out, there are other methods available to side-load the game if need be.