On Sunday February 9, Dong Nguyen, creator of the infamous ‘Flappy Bird’ smartphone app game, pulled his product from Apple’s App Store and Google Play.
“It was just too addictive,” the 29-year-old Vietnamese game developer stated. Nguyen intended the game to be played for a few minutes, for pure enjoyment. After the game was released, he became aware that many users were playing the game for hours at a time, and that the game was extremely addicting and infuriating.
Released in May 2013, ‘Flappy Bird’ was slow off the blocks, but in the past few weeks it has exploded into a global gaming phenomenon. Despite its simplicity, the game has entertained and enraged users worldwide for countless hours, and now it’s gone forever.
“I think it has become a problem,” Nguyen said in an interview. “To solve that problem, it’s best to take down Flappy Bird. It’s gone forever.” On Saturday February 8 Nguyen tweeted:
“I am sorry ‘Flappy Bird’ users, 22 hours from now, I will take ‘Flappy Bird’ down. I cannot take this anymore.”
The death of ‘Flappy Bird’ was received with sorrow, rejoicing, and even laughter. “I think it’s hilarious,” said Snow College student Mike McMillan. “I think it’s the player’s responsibility to have self-control.”
The game is extremely simple, yet outrageously difficult. The player repeatedly taps the screen to keep a pixelated bird airborne, navigating it through narrow gaps in a series of green pipes. Many players find the game frustrating and even angering. “I want to murder that bird!” said Brock Mays, a Snow College student.
The game’s difficulty, addictiveness and popularity drew much unwanted attention the game’s creator. Nguyen noted that he didn’t like the publicity. He said that he couldn’t sleep, and that his life was “not as comfortable as it was before.” Despite its bringing in of $50,000 revenue per day, he decided to remove ‘Flappy Bird’ forever.
There are speculations that there may be other reasons why Nguyen might have put an end to such a successful product. Some believe it was a publicity stunt by Nguyen to draw anticipation for his future games. It was also rumored that Nguyen received legal threats from Nintendo because of the similarity between his pipe obstacles in ‘Flappy Bird’ and the Warp Pipes in Super Mario Bros. However, no such claims have been confirmed by Nintendo.
‘Flappy Bird’ is gone, but its success inspired numerous knockoffs such as ‘Clumsy Bird,’ ‘Splashy Fish,’ and ‘Flappy Plane’ which gained popularity soon after ‘Flappy Bird’s demise.