It is a very intriguing situation. Many developers will give an arm and a leg to achieve the kind of success that the mobile app game, Flappy Bird, achieved. Developed in 2013, Flappy Bird went on to become one of the most popular Android games, generating millions of downloads, and earning its developer, Dong Nguyen, $50,000 a day from ad revenue. That is almost N8 million daily. Oh, for that kind of success! If you had that kind of success, you would be looking to build on it; wouldn’t you? Aha! But Dong did the exact opposite: he pulled down the game from both the Android and iOS stores.
What?!! Yes; Flappy Bird is dead. For real, and it was killed because its developer couldn’t handle its success. Excerpt from a Forbes interview of the developer:
“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.”
Forbes also quotes the 29-year old Vietnamese as saying:
“My life has not been as comfortable as I was before. I couldn’t sleep,” he said. He added that his conscience is relieved; he spent the past few days, Internet-free, catching up on slumber. “I don’t think it’s a mistake,” he says. “I have thought it through.”
This user review gives a good picture of how addictive the game was and why it became a hit:
So, Flappy Bird is dead not because it was crappy, disliked or unsuccessful. It is dead because it was too successful. Dong says he will continue to develop mobile apps. May none of them ever be as successful as Flappy Birds. Yes; that is a very valid prayer. We wouldn’t want them pulled down again, especially if we like or use them; would we?
Well, I never! Talk of the bizarre. Meanwhile, you can all go back to playing Angry Birds now.
Founder of MobilityArena. Yomi’s journey in mobile started in 2001. Besides obsessing over mobile phones, he also started creating WAP sites (early mobile-friendly websites created with WML). He began writing about phones in 2004 and has been at it since then. He has owned over 200 devices, from Symbian, Palm, PocketPC/Windows Mobile, BlackBerry/BB10, webOS, Windows Phone, Firefox, Ubuntu Touch, to Android, iOS, and KaiOS operating systems.