Creator of Flappy Bird game pulls app after success ruins his 'simple life'

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 11 February, 2014, 12:11am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 11 February, 2014, 3:38am


The Vietnamese game developer behind Flappy Bird has pulled his creation from online stores after saying the game's success, earning him US$50,000 per day in ad revenue, had ruined his "simple life".

Technology experts say the game rose from obscurity at its release in May last year to become one of the most downloaded free mobile games on Apple's App Store and Google's Play store.

"Flappy Bird is a success of mine. But it also ruins my simple life. So now I hate it," the game's creator Nguyen Ha Dong tweeted.

"I am sorry Flappy Bird users, 22 hours from now, I will take Flappy Bird down. I cannot take this anymore," he wrote on Saturday from his dongatory handle.

Flappy Bird was not available on the US or British Apple app stores yesterday.

"It is not anything related to legal issues. I just cannot keep it anymore," Dong tweeted.

Flappy Bird features 2D retro-style graphics. The aim of the game is to direct a flying bird between oncoming sets of pipes without touching them. The game has no levels, no end point and the only objective is to score more points than when you last played.

Dong has said in interviews that his brainchild was pulling in as much as US$50,000 per day in revenue from online ad banners.

The game has been the number one app in Apple's iOS App Store in more than 100 countries, according to An Minh Do, editor of the Tech in Asia online media company.

Withdrawing the game "may be a PR stunt or may be due to legal pressure or maybe he's sick of the press", Do said.

Some Vietnamese online commentators have speculated that Dong took down the game after being pressured by Japan's Nintendo - Flappy Bird's simple graphics appear to owe some debt to Nintendo's early Mario Brothers games.

A Nintendo spokesman said yesterday: "Our company has not taken any action this time."

Local online newspaper VNExpress quoted Dong as saying he created the game in a matter of days. After revealing the revenues Flappy Bird was bringing in, Dong was criticised in Vietnamese online forums.

"The whiff of money created a storm of jealousy, dragging down a shining new talent," Quan The Dan wrote in an op-ed in VNExpress.