Where Did It Come From, Where Did It Go? The Story of Flappy Bird
Flappy Bird is a game that took iOS and Android phones by storm. Known for its difficulty and addictiveness, Flappy Bird has become an infamous and unlikely “success” story. That is, until Dong Nguyen, the creator of the game, removed the game from the App Store. He proclaimed that people were misusing the application. Flappy Bird was released to the App Store in March of 2013, but near the end of January of 2014 it had found its home on over 50 Million iOS and Android devices. It has also been reported that the game has earned .Gears (Dong Nguyen) 50,000 dollars a day in ad revenue. So what’s so addicting about this game that has earned Nguyen so much money? Let’s take a look at the game itself.
The game is simple. There is a bird on the screen and you tap the screen to make the bird flap, guiding him through a series of pipes. The player increases their score the further they make it and it is designed to compete against peers. While it’s not up my alley, I can see that the simplistic control scheme and repetitive gameplay would be appealing to the masses.
Alas, all good things must come to an end and Dong Nguyen has had enough of the attention and notoriety that come with a successful app. Not long after Flappy Bird had reached the peak of its success, the creator pulled the game from the store, never to be downloaded again. The deleting of Flappy Bird has spurred a whole slew of spoofs and knock offs online trying to mimic what the game has done, so in a sense, I guess the spirit of Flappy Bird lives on.
Flappy Bird was criticized greatly for the inspiration of some it’s facets heavily pulling from older, more classic games like Super Mario Bros. (i.e. the pipes.) Also with the less than stellar controls, its aim to frustrate and the overly simplistic gameplay.
But even as the drama around Flappy Bird comes to a close, those with the game already downloaded can enjoy it as much as they like. Remember though, once it’s deleted it can never be recovered unless the creator decides to put it back up on the store, which at this point seems less than likely.
So what do you think of this whole fiasco? Do you think there will ever be a clear reason why the creator took the game off the app store? Maybe it was because of the criticism he received, or maybe he hates money or at least the smell of it. Flappy Bird certainly has made a statement in pop culture, but the creator doesn’t seem to think it’s a very good one. But one thing is for sure, it does make for an interesting article.