Game Over: Flappy Bird Flies Away

Flappy Bird is flying no more.

The app’s creator, Dong Nguyen, removed the intensely difficult and incredibly addictive game for mobile devices from online stores last Sunday, February 9.

The game was downloaded 50 million times since its release last May, and Nguyen has made as much as $50,000 a day from the game’s advertising. In a series of nonchalant tweets, he revealed that the game’s removal was not due to its legal issues, but because its fame “ruins my simple life.”

Nguyen's tweets announcing he is taking the game down
Nguyen’s tweets announcing he is taking the game down

It’s no secret that thousands of people vocally criticized Flappy Bird, as the game itself is so utterly infuriating. Frustrated users took to social media sites to rage over the game. If you’ve never played it (have you been living under a rock?), getting the bird to fly in between green columns arranged at various heights is incredibly difficult. Because of its difficulty, Nguyen suddenly became the target of intense anger. “I cannot take this anymore,” he admits.

While some may question his judgment to remove such a popular game and lose advertising revenues, it actually may be a strategic move. Everyone who has already downloaded the game will continue to play it, and people who were teetering on the decision of downloading it are suddenly given an incentive to download it. Even those who have only just heard of the game may feel the urge to download it, as it will no longer be available.

As the old saying goes, always want them leaving more. Perhaps this is a tactic to gain momentum and instant interest in a bigger and better app.