Flappy Bird Developer Removed Game to Cure Our 'Addiction'

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News Posted: Tue, Feb 11 2014 9:32 AM
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 from iTunes 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.

Flappy Bird

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.
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If this didn't all seem intentional in the first place? People are blind....

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ECouts replied on Tue, Feb 11 2014 11:37 AM

You know, I can respect that he doesn't want people to get addicted to it. I think I would have trouble walking around, watching people play Flappy Birds everywhere I go for hours on end just trying to beat their last high score. It would give me a sense of responsibility to end it as well.

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RWilliams replied on Tue, Feb 11 2014 12:14 PM

This is one of the oddest developers I've ever seen. He seems so bi-polar.

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This has to be the most vacuous topics I've seen on news sites lately. Why is it so necessary to speculate on this topic?

I fail to see how it is even remotely relevant why the developer cancelled the game. He clearly doesn't want to talk about it and the press attention seems to be negatively affecting him. Not all people want money or success and it is only suggestive to speculate that there are hidden motives here.

The game's gone; it doesn't matter why.

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ErazmusNZ replied on Wed, Feb 12 2014 2:22 AM

I agree with all of Jvan's comments.

The thing I find funny about the whole situation is all the disbelief, it's hilarious.

* The money? Must be legal action? Maybe he's crazy.

* It's an intentional move? Lol. Create a game, hope for the best, wait for it to get popular and then pull it. I don't know how popular this development model will be.

* He cares about how people are using his creation? Nah, who does that these days?

Personally, if I created something that caused people to post video of them smashing up perfectly good electronic devices and the product was raking in $50k / day then I'd just ignore the video's, feel a little guilty that I was probably responsible for some form of environmental damage and exacerbating some individuals mental illness. Then I would just wait for it all to die down of it's own accord.

"The game's gone; it doesn't matter why."

- JvanHummel : Feb 11, 2014

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