In what can be considered one of the more bizarre moments in the history of gaming, Flappy Bird developer Dong Nguyen followed through on his promise to yank the popular app
and Google Play
despite reports that he was making upwards of $50,000 per day through in-game advertising. His decision came just as sudden as the game grew popular, having been released in mid-2013 but only recently racing to the top of gaming charts. His reason for pulling the game? Addiction.
Nguyen revealed his reason to USA Today
during an email exchange, explaining that his free game ended up having unexpected effects on gamers. "It causes addiction [in] people. I think it is an unexpected problem... and I have to remove it,
" Nguyen stated in his email.
Considering all the attention it's been receiving, both by gamers and in the media, you've probably at least heard of Flappy Bird. The game mechanics are simple -- just tap the screen to keep the pixelated sprite in the air as you attempt to navigate it through a series of pipes. For such a simple title, it's also incredibly frustrating due to there being little room for error.
The game keeps track of how many pipes you've flown through, and indeed it can be addicting in the sense that you're chasing a high score, either as a personal best or for bragging rights against a friend or family member.
Still, it seems odd that Nguyen would yank a game that's making so much money from ads. Some have speculated that Nguyen feared legal action from Nintendo since the pipes in the game look like they came straight out of a Mario title. Same can be said about the sound effects.
Nguyen dismissed the notion on Twitter that legal action prompted him to pull the game, offering up only vague explanations until now. Regardless of the reason, it almost seems fitting that Flappy Bird's demise has come as quick and quirky and as its rise in popularity.