Will Flappy Bird ever return to the App Store? The developer says it might

By , Mar 11, 2014

flappy_bird_screens

It would appear that the Flappy Bird saga is still far from over. The game’s creator Dong Nguyen, who pulled the title from iOS and Android at the height of its popularity, says that he is considering returning the game to app stores.

In a new interview with Rolling Stone, Nguyen talks about a wide range of things, including why he pulled Flappy Bird in the first place, and how it has affected his life. He also says that he has been contemplating bringing the game back…

Flappy Bird went live on the iOS App Store on May 24th, but it remained relatively unknown for several months. That changed going into December when the game began picking up steam, and by the next month it was the top free app.

“As word spread from Reddit to YouTube, playgrounds to office parks, Flappy Bird rose to the Top 10 of the U.S. charts by early January. Finally, with no promotion, no plan, no logic, on January 17th, Flappy Bird hit Number One. A week or two later, it topped the Google Play store, too.

“Seeing the game on top, I felt amazing,” Nguyen recalls. Like everyone else, he was shocked by its meteoric rise – and the avalanche of money that would be wired into his bank account. Even with Apple and Google’s 30 percent take, Nguyen estimated he was clearing $50,000 a day.”

But the joy was short-lived. Once word got out of how much money he was making, Nguyen’s face began appearing in Vietnamese papers and on TV, and local paparazzi besieged. The worst of it all, though, were the messages he began to receive.

“He hands me his iPhone so that I can scroll through some messages he’s saved. One is from a woman chastising him for “distracting the children of the world.” Another laments that “13 kids at my school broke their phones because of your game, and they still play it cause it’s addicting like crack.” Nguyen tells me of e-mails from workers who had lost their jobs, a mother who had stopped talking to her kids. “At first I thought they were just joking,” he says, “but I realize they really hurt themselves.” Nguyen – who says he botched tests in high school because he was playing too much Counter-Strike – genuinely took them to heart.

By early February, the weight of everything – the scrutiny, the relentless criticism and accusations – felt crushing. He couldn’t sleep, couldn’t focus, didn’t want to go outdoors. His parents, he says, “worried about my well-being.” His tweets became darker and more cryptic. “I can call ‘Flappy Bird’ is a success of mine,” read one. “But it also ruins my simple life. So now I hate it.” He realized there was one thing to do: Pull the game. After tweeting that he was taking it down, 10 million people downloaded it in 22 hours. Then he hit a button, and Flappy Bird disappeared.”

Following the removal of the game, rumors began to spread that Nguyen had committed suicide or was being sued by Nintendo. But actually, he’s doing great. He’s still making $1000s per day from Flappy Bird ads, and is working on new titles.

“Since taking Flappy Bird down, he says he’s felt “relief. I can’t go back to my life before, but I’m good now.” As for the future of his flapper, he’s still turning down offers to purchase the game. Nguyen refuses to compromise his independence. But will Flappy Bird ever fly again? “I’m considering it,” Nguyen says. He’s not working on a new version, but if he ever releases one it will come with a “warning,” he says: “Please take a break.”

The entire Rolling Stone piece is worth reading, as it goes into great detail about Flappy Bird’s success and its creator. Even if you didn’t like the game, you have to admit it has had, and will continue to have an impact on the mobile gaming world.

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  • Tony

    Frankly I don’t care, poorly programmed app that he’s still making money on. Good for him, it’s a fad! Frankly he’s completely unprofessional and makes no sense at all other then you can clearly tell he ripped pieces of his app from other companies. His 5 seconds are way way up!

    • http://www.bearsstillsuck.com/ Simon

      I see this as a smart kid that started a very dumb game revolution. Think whatever you want of the game, but all the “poorly programmed” human beings that made the game the success are really what we should be concerned about.

    • Marcus Gomita

      How is is poorly programmed? And you say it’s unprofessional but he was getting death threats, pressure and all that. It’s understandable. You say he rips off other companies but it’s rather other apps making money off his app: 1/3 of apps on the app store are ripping him off. It sounds like you’re jealous of the 50 000 bucks he makes.

      • XboxOne

        Nobody jealous kid.

  • Mario Britten

    Looks like he’s running out of cash huh?

    • Jonathan

      No. It says he’s still making $1000s a day from ads.

      • Daniel Beecham

        its coming back because $1000 a day its a lot less than 50000 a week!!!!

      • Elias Chao

        It’s still a lot of money. I’d like to receive this money not daily but weekly (even monthly) at least :)

      • http://facebook.com/kurtlewisart Kurt

        He was making 50K a day! Which obviously went up the day before and the days after pulling the app.

      • Jonathan

        There’s an s at the end. that means plural, dude. So he could be making $20,000 or something.

      • Mario Britten

        It was a joke. I don’t care how much money other people make.

      • Jonathan

        Ah okay. xD
        I don’t care either, but I am interested in their techniques. :)

  • leart

    No, please dont…

  • Likii111

    It will fail so bad !

  • Marcus Gomita

    Why does everyone hate flappy bird? It’s not like someone forced you to play the game.

    • Frozen Bee .GFKS

      no, but they force us to read about it everywhere…

      • Marcus Gomita

        Nobody really forces you to read about it but I get that it’s annoying to always read about flappy bird.

      • Frozen Bee .GFKS

        I mean read headlines, not the article itself of course :)

      • parisianb0y

        And post comment on it.
        Wait …

  • Frozen Bee .GFKS

    who gives a sh*t??

    • John

      You…clearly gave enough of them to write a comment about it.

      Had you hated it as much as you claimed, you would have never clicked on the article to read it.

      • Frozen Bee .GFKS

        I actually clicked just to express my anger in comments….

  • Eni

    can someone give me an answer? i have an amazon account and i have money in, i have redemed gift cards, but i dont have registered a credit card, my question is, why i can’t purchase things in amazon, ore in cydia, it doesent let me, it says i have to enter a credit card :(

    • Jonathan

      I’m not sure where, but somewhere on Saurik’s website it said that you cannot purchase Cydia stuff with an Amazon gift card because the gift card is dedicated to Amazon. Nothing else.
      Your options:
      Get PayPal
      or
      Buy a debit gift card and put that in Amazon, THEN you can purchase stuff in Cydia. =)

      • Eni

        are you sure about that?

      • Jonathan

        100%

    • ConduciveMammal

      I believe you have to “preload your account”. Here at iDB, there’s an article that hates on PayPal and gives full instructions on how to use Amazon as payment.

      • Eni

        i’ve read that but it instructs how to make fast payments not how amazon payment it works :/

  • Rowan09

    This is very confusing. He removed the app because it was messing up his life and now he might bring it back? Boy oh boy.

    • https://twitter.com/MrElectrifyer MrElectrifyer

      I think you heard only half the story on iDB; people were getting killed over his app (http://bit ly/1kKwhaA)…describing that as an addiction is way to broad.

      • http://kevpat.com/ Kevin Paterson

        That was a hoax started by a fake news site.

      • https://twitter.com/MrElectrifyer MrElectrifyer

        What a mean prank…thanks for the heads up.

  • Martynet

    Gave up jailbreak 7.0.4 and updated to 7.1 and the only two things I really miss is Flappy Bird and touch ID tweak.

    • Martynet

      btw, iOS feels much smoother after update

      • Rowan09

        I updated my old 4S and it is a lot smoother and the power down slider is a lot better. I’m staying with my jail broken 5s though until or if they jailbreak 7.1.

    • Marcus

      Flappy Bird crashes on 7.1?

      • Marcus Gomita

        Maybe he lost the game when he restored his phone.

  • Carlos Gomes

    Too late, Smash Hit is the new Flappy Bird.

  • Al

    Please, just no.

  • Jay Burgandy

    He will bring it back.. he has lavish all his money he earned.. or advice from his parent.. Wish i had his chance of making such hella bread a day!.. Imma be aiming for Forbes!..

    This dude should run for presidency they will surely vote for him.

  • Laszlo Gaspar

    Perfect copies of it are top of the new and rising section of the windows store.

  • El Arqui Tecto

    Drama queen detected

  • Matt

    This is good because now that people miss it and now that even more people know what it is, it will hit top 1 on AppStore in a heartbeat – once released.
    And to those who don’t know – if you deleted FlappyBird from your iPhone you still can get it back, all you have to do is, go on App Store app, then click “updates” and in that section click “purchased” it’ll be there!
    Just thought id share that.

  • Jonathan

    I don’t think he should put it back up. Why? Because look at all the problems it occurred. Putting it back on again will just make the problems start up again. Maybe not as quickly, but it will. Simply saying “please take a break” isn’t going to do anything.

    • Marcus Gomita

      I agree. But if he puts it back in let’s say eight months, the heat will die out, people will talk less about it so if he re-uploads it to the app store then, the problems will be smaller.

      • Jonathan

        But there’s still problems..

      • Marcus Gomita

        Yes.

  • ConduciveMammal

    Damn it! I almost made a week without reading that infernal name!

    Tbf though, if you get sacked because of a game. This game. Then you seriously need to reassess your life.

    • h4nd0fg0d

      AGREED

  • William Melendez

    Just a marketing strategy guys .

  • h4nd0fg0d

    Game was uber lame imo. Pitiful. Played 1 time, deleted.

  • Christopher

    Not his fault bad things happened to people lol