Game over for ‘Flappy Bird’

By Katelynn Padron, Guest Writer

Developer Dong Nguyen has canceled his popular app, “Flappy Bird,” which was earning $50,000 per day in ad revenue, according to The Wall Street Journal.

“I am sorry ‘Flappy Bird’ users,” Nguyen tweeted mid-February. “22 hours from now, I will take ‘Flappy Bird’ down.”

In the free app, the player must navigate a bird between pipes by tapping on the screen. With each obstacle, the navigation becomes more difficult. When the bird touches one of the obstacles, the game is over.

Nguyen only spent three days developing the simple game. “It is pure. It is all about the game, not about the ornamentation or decoration,” he said in his interview with WSJ.

Nguyen gave several reasons for pulling the app.

“Flappy Bird was designed to play in a few minutes when you are relaxed,” Nguyen said in an interview with Forbes. “But it happened to become an addictive product.”

Many of the 543,000 reviews of “Flappy Bird” in the Apple App Store detail players’ frustrating, time-consuming addiction to the difficult game.

“I am now an atheist,” one reviewer wrote, according to BuzzFeed. “There cannot be a god that allows this game to go unpunished.”

Another wrote: “We should send a group of children to an island with no electricity to continue humanity before it’s too late.”

Nguyen said the addiction was unacceptable. In addition to being too addictive, Nguyen said he resented how the app changed his lifestyle.

“My life has not been as comfortable as I was before,” Nguyen said in an interview with Forbes. “I couldn’t sleep.”

The WSJ reported that Nguyen found it difficult to walk around his community in peace.

Nguyen released the app May 2013. Nguyen said he did not promote “Flappy Bird,” but it somehow rose to become the most downloaded free app for iPhone and Android within the last three months.

“’Flappy Bird’ blew up,” senior Lance Mathes said. “I saw it all over social networks.” Mathes said his score in the challenging game only reached the 40s.

He said he believes the difficulty of the game is part of what makes it so addicting. “You want to just keep playing and getting a better score,” Mathes said.

Consumer demand for the game did not disappear with the app. Some users are selling their devices with “Flappy Bird” online at inflated prices. One seller listed an iPhone 4 with “Flappy Bird” for $5,000.

Many knock-off games have emerged in the App Store. One imitation called “Flying Cyrus,” in which players must direct an image of Miley Cyrus to dodge wrecking balls, is ranked third in the App Store.

Nguyen’s other apps, like “Ninjas Assault” and “Droplet Shuffle” have also risen in popularity

Nguyen said he will continue to produce games. “After the success of Flappy Bird, I feel more confident,” Nguyen said to Forbes, “and I have freedom to do what I want to do.” 🅼

Leave a Reply