'Flappy Bird' developer says game was 'addictive product'

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2015
In a series of interviews on Tuesday, the developer of former hit indie game "Flappy Bird" Dong Nguyen said he pulled the title from the iOS App Store because playing the game was so addicting that it became "a problem."

Nguyen
Flappy Bird creator Dong Ha Nguyen. | Source: Agence France-Presse via The Wall Street Journal


After seeing his game skyrocket to the No. 1 spot on the iOS App Store charts, Nguyen confirmed to Forbes that Flappy Bird is indeed dead and will never return.

"Flappy Bird was designed to play in a few minutes when you are relaxed," Nguyen said. "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."

Following an unexpected and rapid rise to top, Flappy Bird was yanked on Sunday. The game, which first hit the App Store in May 2013, went viral after word of its easy-to-play, difficult-to-master gameplay spread via YouTube and social networks.

Many cite popular YouTuber PewDiePie, who has 22.5 million subscribers, as setting the spark to the Flappy Bird inferno after he featured the game in a video that has amassed over ten million views.

At the height of what became extensive press coverage of the gaming phenomenon, Nguyen tweeted, "I cannot take this anymore," and promised to pull Flappy Bird from the App Store. The move came as a surprise to many, especially given the app was generating a reported $50,000 per day in ad revenue. Nguyen claims not to know the exact figure, but said, "I do know it's a lot."

In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Nguyen said he creates games for fun in his spare time, noting that Flappy Bird took about three days to build. Nguyen's development studio, dotGEARS, has a few other high-ranking titles, though none have seen the type of success as Flappy Bird.

The developer was apparently overwhelmed by the amount of attention the game, and by extension himself, had garnered. He is currently on hiatus from his day job as a firmware engineer and does not know if he will return.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 50
    I still don't understand what the problem was.

    He created the game... released it... it's done.

    Now other people play it. Isn't that the point?

    OK... maybe he will be branded a saint for realizing that his game was [I]too[/I] addicting. But that doesn't stop all the other developers who sell crack games. Candy Crush... take note.

    Or maybe he doesn't want to provide updates for Flappy Bird. Does he support his other games? It's funny that did didn't shut down all of his other games.

    He mentioned that he designs games for fun in his spare time. But he still made sure the "ad supported" box was checked when he submitted his app in [I]multiple[/I] app stores. That was certainly not by accident.

    Again... I don't see what the problem was.
  • Reply 2 of 50
    irelandireland Posts: 17,745member
    This guy is getting far too much airtime.
  • Reply 3 of 50
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Michael Scrip View Post



    I still don't understand what the problem was.



    He created the game... released it... it's done.



    Now other people play it. Isn't that the point?



    OK... maybe he will be branded a saint for realizing that his game was too addicting. But that doesn't stop all the other developers who sell crack games. Candy Crush... take note.



    Or maybe he doesn't want to provide updates for Flappy Bird. Does he support his other games? It's funny that did didn't shut down all of his other games.



    He mentioned that he designs games for fun in his spare time. But he still made sure the "ad supported" box was checked when he submitted his app in multiple app stores. That was certainly not by accident.



    Again... I don't see what the problem was.

     

    He obviously felt it was a problem (from his comments) and did not want to be responsible for something he felt addicting. I applaud him following his conscious. I personally would have found a way like donating some significant portion to an addiction foundation. Diff strokes of different folx. 

  • Reply 4 of 50
    ireland wrote: »
    This guy is getting far too much airtime.
    Seconded
  • Reply 5 of 50
    That's the stupidest reason I ever read. It must be a concealed reason he is not disclosing about it.
  • Reply 6 of 50

    Ahm, no. It must be something else. That's the most retarded and unbelievable reason someone EVER had to pull a game/app out of the App Store. It makes no sense and he must be hiding the real reason.

  • Reply 7 of 50
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    Seconded
    Thirded.
  • Reply 8 of 50
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Ireland View Post



    This guy is getting far too much airtime.

    Thirded. 

  • Reply 9 of 50
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Ireland View Post



    This guy is getting far too much airtime.

    Thirded. Again.

  • Reply 10 of 50
    I do agree, his reasons do sound a little off. However, not everyone's reasons are going to sound rational to others. Some folks aren't about money, or they actually fear having it. Others can't handle any amount of fame - or they think they could and when it happens they feel cornered.

    There are brilliant (and not so brilliant) but very reclusive and eccentric people out there, who are motivated in vastly different ways than what were used to, and who react to certain things in ways you and I might find irrational.
  • Reply 11 of 50
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,254member
    quadra 610 wrote: »
    I do agree, his reasons do sound a little off. However, not everyone's reasons are going to sound rational to others. Some folks aren't about money, or they actually fear having it. Others can't handle any amount of fame - or they think they could and when it happens they feel cornered.

    There are brilliant (and not so brilliant) but very reclusive and eccentric people out there, who are motivated in vastly different ways than what were used to, and who react to certain things in ways you and I might find irrational.

    Just speaking personally, I would be the reclusive sort if such success struck me. I'd be off on hiding on a tropical island while the money poured into my bank account ... :D

    I agree with others here, there is more to this than meets the eye.
  • Reply 12 of 50
    If money makes you happy, good for you. If fame makes you happy, good for you. The effect this game was having on Mr. Nyugen was obviously not making him happy and causing him grief. I admire the courage it took for him to remove it.
  • Reply 13 of 50

    I think this guy pulled it so he would get all the free press and soon he will put it back up and say everyone wants it and make much more money. IMO

  • Reply 14 of 50
    "Ahm, no. It must be something else. That's the most retarded and unbelievable reason someone EVER had to pull a game/app out of the App Store. It makes no sense and he must be hiding the real reason."
    That.

    Although I doubt the real reason will ever be known.
  • Reply 15 of 50
    tjwaltjwal Posts: 404member

    If I were to make $50,000 a day since last May I might just call it a day and dissappear too.

  • Reply 16 of 50
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 13,001member
    tjwal wrote: »
    If I were to make $50,000 a day since last May I might just call it a day and dissappear too.

    I'd get a nice house on Phuket, hang on the beach with a bevy of beauties, and let those daily credits rack up.
  • Reply 17 of 50
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 13,001member
    He obviously felt it was a problem (from his comments) and did not want to be responsible for something he felt addicting. I applaud him following his conscious. I personally would have found a way like donating some significant portion to an addiction foundation. Diff strokes of different folx. 

    The thing is how many people still have it, and continue to play it? He's still going to make a nice amount of money off it.
  • Reply 18 of 50
    sporlosporlo Posts: 143member
    Once again, people are acting as if it's evil to not want to be rich. Except he's already made a ton of money! Who the hell cares if he's giving up a little extra. I find it ridiculous that in a society where we loathe the rich, it's simultaneously dishonorable to not aspire to be rich yourself.
  • Reply 19 of 50
    Some people think it would be awesome to have a super popular game making $50k a day, with all the attention and fame that deserves. This guy didn't. Kudos to him for going with his beliefs, despite the obvious negative reaction he was going to receive.
  • Reply 20 of 50
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,254member
    tjwal wrote: »
    If I were to make $50,000 a day since last May I might just call it a day and dissappear too.

    Why call it a day though? Just let the money pile up!
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