Flappy Bird creator removes game from app stores

Dong Nguyen Vietnam-based Dong Nguyen says he has been overwhelmed by the media interest in him and his game

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Flappy Bird is flapping its wings no more.

The popular game for mobile devices was removed from online stores on Sunday by its Vietnamese creator, who said its fame "ruins my simple life".

Dong Nguyen, who created the game in just two to three days, was making as much as $50,000 (£30,482) a day from the game's advertising revenue.

In several Twitter posts, he said the game's removal was not due to legal issues and that he may make a sequel.

Mr Dong, who describes himself as a "passionate indie game maker", also said on the micro-blogging site that he will not sell Flappy Bird but that he will still make games.

Screenshot of Flappy Bird creator Dong Nguyen's Twitter feed Flappy Bird creator Dong Nguyen announced his plan to remove the game via social media site Twitter
Game over

Flappy Bird has been downloaded more than 50 million times, making it this year's most popular mobile game so far.

Launched in May 2013, the game was free to download and required players to tap the screen to keep the bird in flight.

Despite its simple graphics, Flappy Bird was a notoriously difficult game since many users could only keep the bird in the air for a few seconds before it hits an obstacle and falls.

The game went viral after being promoted almost entirely by social media users and was reviewed on a YouTube channel by more than 22 million subscribers.

The official version was only available for Apple and Android devices. It quickly became the number one free game in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store charts.

Several news sites had noted the similarity between the game and an earlier title called Piou Piou, by a different French developer, as well as the fact that Flappy Bird's main character and obstacles resembled the Cheep-Cheep birds and green pipes found in Nintendo's Super Mario Bros series.

Forbes had even suggested that Mr Dong could be sued for intellectual property infringement as a result. However, the developer has stated that his decision to pull the title was "not anything related to legal issues".

User reactions
Flappy Bird screen shot Flappy Bird is no longer available for downloads

After Mr Dong took the game down, many fans turned to social media to petition for its return.

On Twitter, there were widely-used hashtags of #RIPFlappyBird and #SaveFlappyBird, with several "Save Flappy Bird" accounts being spawned as well.

The game is no longer available through online stores, but it still works on phones that had previously downloaded it.

As a result, some online users have offered to sell their smartphones still containing the Flappy Birds app for large sums of money.

However, some fans expressed their relief that the game was gone.

One user describes Flappy Birds as "an addictive game that everyone hates to love" while another said, "I think it's for the best, and for the best of all the cracked phones out there."

At least one user has tweeted a photo of a cracked iPhone screen - apparently as a result of frantic tapping whilst playing the game.


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  • rate this

    Comment number 179.

    Mr Nguyen shouldn't feel so bad. This is a work of genius. Any game where it's impossible to score more than about 3 points if you're very lucky is no game at all. That it managed to attract advertising revenue of the reported magnitude is incredible on that basis and I can't even remember a single ad from the game! All that corporate cash in Mr Nguyen's bank account. A triumph for the little guy.

  • rate this

    Comment number 152.

    HUGE RESPECT for Mr Dong Nguyen.

    He is a rare inspiration to us all. Someone who is clearly not motivated by money and greed and who builds his games for his passion of game development.

    The world would be a better place with more Dong's out there.

    Always said the biggest problem with the billions of mobile apps is 99% of them are desperate to make money. A corrupt perspective for creativity

  • rate this

    Comment number 119.

    As games go, Flappy Bird was/is rubbish. I installed it, played no more than 5 times and uninstalled it. It just shows the power of the online community to get it so well promoted.
    These days something doesn't need to be any good, it just needs to get online support. A lot like 50 Shades Of Grey did the other year.

  • rate this

    Comment number 107.

    Nintendo doesn't own the platform game genre nor the colour green or blue nor the use of pipes / walls / whatever else.

    Imitation (if that's what it is) should be seen as flattery in this case.

    But the game is pretty rubbish, can't understand what the fuss is about, apart from maybe highlighting the mass hysteria that social media manages to generate. Talk about lemmings...

  • rate this

    Comment number 85.

    It's a shame, he should have hired a manager to deal with it and donate the money he made to charity or used it for good causes if he wasn't motivated by the money... that's what I'd have done anyway


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