After a meteoric rise to the No. 1 spot on Apple's iOS App Store charts, the deceivingly simple Flappy Bird has been removed by the game's developer Dong Nguyen. The takedown comes after Nguyen promised to pull Flappy Bird on Saturday.
At one point, Flappy Bird was raking in about $50,000 per day from in-game advertising, reports The Verge. In addition to revenue, ads were added to enhance the gaming experience, according to Nguyen, who modeled the title after bite-sized Japanese offerings.
The exact reason for Flappy Bird's removal is unknown, though Nguyen stated legal issues are not to blame. When the developer announced he would be pulling the app, some theorized Nintendo had taken issue with the title's art style, which was heavily influenced by Super Mario Bros. In a series of tweets following the sudden rise in downloads it became apparent that Nguyen was distressed by the amount of attention he and his game were getting.
February 8, 2014
I am sorry 'Flappy Bird' users, 22 hours from now, I will take 'Flappy Bird' down. I cannot take this anymore.
-- Dong Nguyen (@dongatory)
Also unclear is why the game became so popular. After lying relatively dormant in the App Store since its debut in May 2013, Flappy Bird saw a huge spike in downloads over a short period of time. Some attribute the boost to a slew of social media posts and ensuing press coverage.
Nguyen's small development firm dotGears Studios has released a few other titles similar to Flappy Bird, though none have seen the same level of success. With a refusal to sell the game's rights to another party, it appears Flappy Bird's death will be just as spontaneous as its rise to the top.