Popular ‘Flappy Bird’ game earning $50k per day in ad revenue

By , Feb 6, 2014

flappy_bird_screens

While discussing the latest mobile gaming craze that is Flappy Bird on our recent Let’s Talk iOS podcast, I wondered out loud how much money the developer was making from his newfound success. The game, which is free with ads, has enjoyed a spontaneous reign at the top of the App Store.

Apparently he’s doing rather well for himself. In a recent interview with The Verge, developer Dong Nguyen says that Flappy Bird is earning an average of $50,000 per day from ads. It’s been download over 50M times, and has been sitting atop iOS and Android app stores for nearly a month…

And as many of you may know, Flappy Bird isn’t Nguyen’s only game on a hot streak right now. He has two others, Super Ball Juggling and Shuriken Block, that have also maintained spots in the App Store’s top 10 free list over the past month. But there’s no word in what they’re earning.

The Verge’s Ellis Hamburger has more:

Super Ball Juggling has also been hovering in the App Store’s top ten, as has Shuriken Block. Neither game as perfectly balances difficulty and fun as Flappy Bird, but it’s become clear that Nguyen has a knack for bite-sized arcade titles. The games’ mechanics are inspired by Nintendo titles Nguyen played as a child, and even by some of the characters therein. Flappy Bird’s titular bird was inspired by Cheep Cheep in Super Mario Bros, as are its iconic green pipes. Adding advertisements to the mix was his modern spin on the titles.”

What’s really interesting to me is that there doesn’t seem to be any particular reason for why these games essentially became overnight successes. In fact, Flappy Bird first launched all the way back in may of last year and was seemingly tucked away in a dark corner of the App Store until recently.

But however it happened, it happened, and you can’t help but feel impressed. With a simple tap-to-play title, Nguyen is well on his way to becoming a millionaire (if he isn’t already). A rough equation of $50,000 multiplied by 31 days, minus Apple’s 30% cut of course, gives us around $1 million.

If you haven’t tried Flappy Bird yet, you can download it here for free.

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  • David Gitman

    mother of god

  • John

    How do you put ads in your app?

    • Cool

      Apple’s iAd service I think

    • Parker Crain

      Or RevMob, or admob

  • Cool

    Flappy bird is the new angry birds.

    • Jason Baroni

      I don’t think so

  • Cool

    It’s great for them because the devs are a tiny vietnamese company. Their success is really great for them!

    • Julio Cesar

      Did you know that actually this game is a rippoff of a french game from 2009 made by one man?

      It’s kinda sad to see someone getting rich with a rippoff of your game…
      I know how bad it is because I’m developer too.

      Search for “Piou Piou Contre Les Cactus” and you will see…

      The King (developer of the Candy Crush Saga) make a lot of rippoffs too, but only Candy Crush made a lot of money.

      • Marcus

        It’s the same thing with Angry Birds. It’s a total ripoff of Crush The Castle which I thought had always been much better.

      • Julio Cesar

        But at least Andry Birds has original characters and some extra features in gameplay.
        But Flappy Bird have less gameplay features than Piou Piou and is a lot more frustrating.

      • Christopher Ablaza

        “theres nothing new under the sun” – The truth is A LOT of games are similar in concept and type. I’m not trying to defend flappy bird. But the old school arcade graphics + the frustration and simplicity just worked out in the end. Anyone remember the old game “helicopter” then the same game poped up on Facebook with the title “jetman” then on iOS as “jetpack joyride”? I thought flappy bird was pretty similar to those but theres little twists like u have to tap and can’t hold the screen.

      • Ashish Maheshwari

        actually the “helicopter” game you are talking about is Copter. I had its flash version (offline). It was played with mouse only and was super fun :)

      • Christopher Ablaza

        AHH yes. copter. It was fun. almost the same concept just a few differences. my personal opinion is flappy bird is much harder – but thats why its so addictive.

      • Julio Cesar

        I don’t think you get it…
        It’s a MAFIA of clone games, people actually pay for developers clone specifc games…
        Search for the tumblr “iwantaclone” and you will see…

        I played Copter a long time ago, it’s pretty fun.
        But if you play Piou Piou, you will see that the only similarity with Copter is that you have to avoid obstacles, and that is basic in a game…
        In Piou Piou you don’t “die” when hit something, you just lose speed and get traped behind the obstacle…
        Also, it has a lot of itens and power ups that you get in the way.

        But Flappy Bird is closer to Copter than Piou Piou, but with the characters and controls very similar to Piou Piou…

        Piou Piou may don’t have nice graphics, but at least have some originality besides the inspiration in Copter.

      • Christopher Ablaza

        i believe you, Ive seen it in the app store before with games that are blatent clones of fruit ninja and all the match 3 games. I still don’t know If i believe that about flappy bird and piou piou. BUT the cloning is def. wrong to the developers who put time and creativity into their apps. I hear ya.

      • Cool

        Wow. I didn’t know that. I just saw the tweet of the developper of ‘Piou Piou contra les cactus’:

        However, that app is ONLY available in the french app store so it’s highly probably that a vietnamese guy did not see it, and it doesn’t seem popular.

        Also, I really don’t like King because it trademarked the word ‘candy’ and it has been threatening to sue games that have the word ‘candy’ in it. It’s such bullying and mean.

        I agree, it’s really sad that a guy steals your invention and gets rich on it…

        Also, it’s really cool that you’re a developper. I have an idea of a super awesome app to make. I’m thinking of making Firefox add-ons and then moving to App store apps, but I’m not sure because it’s 100 bucks for an account and it looks difficult and time consuming. Is it really difficult? And I’m curious, what app did you create?

      • Julio Cesar

        Actually, Piou Piou is avaliable in any county PlayStore, and the game was first released for browser (probably flash).

        Time consuming it always is, but you can do one step at the time.
        I’m developing big projects, because of that I didn’t have time to release something in AppStore yet…
        I’m actually creating an type of “social game maker” for mobile platforms… It’s pretty complex.

        (sorry if I wrote something wrong, I learned english by myself)

      • Cool

        ok, thanks

      • asdfasdf

        If you want to make Games i can recommend Gamesalad!
        You dont need to know any code, it’s all drag and drop.
        I created 2 games with it..

      • Cool

        Wow, I didn’t know about that, thanks

      • JulianZH

        the process isnt important, it’s the result that count.

  • Matthew Ball

    They are #winning

  • Jonathan

    I smell profit..

    • Bob

      well duh

  • Darryll4sh0

    This is why Nintendo is hesitant about entering the mobile market. 50 million downloads, and only 50k a day! That’s nothing compared to what the make already, even with sales declining.

    • Bill Do

      Nintendo isn’t going to make their games free.

      They will probably charge a premium like square enix.

  • Cool

    Flappy bird vs angry birds? What do you guys think?

  • Jeremy

    Here’s a Valentine card dedicated to Flappy Bird just in time for the holiday.

  • Framboogle

    Thanks to flappy bird I no longer have a job or a family or a home or a car.

  • CaffeinePizza

    I have a strong feeling that somehow Flappy Birds is “rigged”. When I mean “rigged”, I mean you can never “win”.

  • http://twitter.com/int3nsive Int3nsive

    Crappy bird would be a better name

  • bn326160

    A voice in my head: “Make a simple game with ripped off graphics! Do it! Now!”

  • G-HaB

    my score in flappy bird 129 hahahahaha

    • Cool

      wow!

  • Julio Cesar

    This game is a rippoff of a french game from 2009 made by one man.

    It’s kinda sad to see someone getting rich with a rippoff of your game…
    I know how bad it is because I’m developer too.

    Search for “Piou Piou Contre Les Cactus” and you will see…

    The King (developer of the Candy Crush Saga) make a lot of rippoffs too, but only Candy Crush made a lot of money.

    • jack

      Drama

  • Nirvana

    Hah, most games related to birds are worth a play on the App Store, as seen with Angry Birds, what’s more, they create millions of dollars for developers.

  • JS3

    everyone should turn airplane mode on!!! that will disable the annoying ads!!

  • Huntz

    Reppin’ my hometown’s area code!

    • Jeffrey Feuerstein

      you can see that the pipe is cut at the top, this means that you used the ifile hack (change the code so that the pipes are cut so that you can fly over them, much used hack)

  • Laszlo Gaspar

    What a great game

  • David

    This is an excited app.

  • Mall Jamal

    Which is the original games? The Flappy Birds or Clumsy Bird?

  • on3simpleclick

    This kind of money making should be outlawed for these kind of apps.