In the past few weeks the mobile gaming world was rocked by a simple yet addicting game called Flappy Bird. The gameplay is quite simple as all a player has to do is tap on the screen to guide the bird between a series of pipes. As simple as it may sound it is actually quite difficult as first time players will have a hard time clearing even the first pipe.
Its developer, Dong Nguyen, recently took down the game from Google Play and the App Store without providing any concrete reason as to why he did it. Some people speculated that it was due to legal issues while others say that he is selling it to a bigger studio. Why take down a game that is reportedly earning around US$50,000 a day in ad revenue alone?
Forbes was able to track down Dong Nguyen in Hanoi and was able to get the real reason behind this. Nguyen says that Flappy Bird is dead permanently. “Flappy Bird was designed to play in a few minutes when you are relaxed. But it happened to become an addictive product. I think it has become a problem. To solve that problem, it’s best to take down Flappy Bird. It’s gone forever.”
The interview took place in a hotel on the condition that his face should not be revealed. It was even delayed a few hours as Nguyen, who was relatively unknown a few weeks ago, had a sudden meeting with Vietnam’s deputy prime minister Vu Duc Dam.
In deciding to pull Flappy Bird out of circulation he said that it was guilt, aside from the fact that “my life has not been as comfortable as I was before”. He added that he hadn’t been getting any sleep.
Nguyen however will still continue developing games as his success with Flappy Bird has made him more confident. He has other games on top of the gaming charts such as Super Ball Juggling and Shuriken Block which are ranked number 6 and number 18 respectively at the App Store.
As for the clones of Flappy Bird that are now sprouting like mushroom he says that he won’t take any legal actions against copycats. He even said that “I have tried playing Ironpants. It’s a good game.”
To the countless people who have downloaded Flappy Birds Nguyen says “Thank you very much for playing my game.”