By Jennifer Tan AKA Mrs Fett
Flappy Bird: An extremely simple, yet extremely difficult game about a cycloptic bird, flapping its way through endless openings between pipes. The game had been downloaded and played, over 50 million times, before its abrupt and almost irrational pull by its developer Dong Nguyen. So why would anyone, want to pull their game, which soared to the top of app store ratings, and pulled in an astounding $50,000 a day, in advertising revenue?
My personal record is 7 (I’m kind of a big deal). I dismissed the game after ten minutes of failing, only to find out this morning, that my phone is now a collector’s item, since I still have the game intact. Since the games pull from App Stores, phones have been popping up on Craigslist, FaceBook, and Ebay, at ridiculous prices. One Iphone reached bids above $90,000 before the listings were pulled. It is not clear if they were pulled by Ebay itself, or the lister of the coveted phone.
The game released May 2013, but did not surge to the top of charts until mid-December. Some have speculated the use of bots, to surge numbers, while other insist the power of social media exposure. Its developer, now bombarded with attention he apparently did not want, wrote “I am sorry ‘Flappy Bird’ users, 22 hours from now, I will take ‘Flappy Bird’ down,” developer Dong Nguyen wrote on Saturday. “I cannot take this anymore.” He insisted it had nothing to do with legal issues, even though there is an uncanny resemblance to both pipes, and environment from the Mario Bros series. He insisted that he would never sell the Flappy Bird title. He said. “I just cannot keep it anymore.” and that it has “Ruined his simple life.”
Dong Nguyen, has stayed quiet during these past few days, not responding to press, or public, about clarifying his decision. He assures that he will continue to make video games, despite the crash of his infamous title.
If you still have the Flappy Bird game on your phone, consider yourself a collector now. If you deleted it in a rage of flappy fails, have no fear. You should still be able to download the title again, by looking at your download and purchase history, in the App Store.
The maddening game created a resounding misery for the developer, one he could take no longer. Absurd stories about lost marriages, ruined careers, and missed dates flooded the rating pages on both Apple and Android stores. Dong Nguyen openly admitted his game is not for everyone, and to “take care of yourself first; I don’t make games to ruin people lives”. With a few hundred death threats delivered every day, I have to ask, why would you make another game? I fear no matter what comes next, the Flappy Bird shadow will be one too big to emerge from. Good luck Dong.