Nishtha KanalFeb 11, 2014 10:40:58 IST
Monday morning came with a rude shock to most casual gamers across the world when they realised that the latest gaming sensation, Flappy Bird, had been taken off app stores by the maker. The confounding move was made by Don Nguyen, the game’s Vietnam-based developer himself.
Nguyen shocked everyone when in a series of tweets, he announced that he had had enough of Flappy Bird and would be taking the game off app stores on Android and iOS soon. Pipeline plans of bringing the game to Windows Phone too were chucked out of the door with this emotional, sudden decision.
The developer started receiving death threats on Twitter as soon as he made the announcement. Check out this list of mentions received by Nguyen, put together by CNBC’s Eli Langer:
There have been milder (albeit still weird) reactions to the game’s demise too. Like this person willing to auction his iPhone off with Flappy Bird pre-installed. The US based user who goes by the moniker 'pindrus' put up his space grey iPhone 5s 16GB up for sale for a mere $650, with the peg being the fact that it is a phone with Flappy Bird on it. The current bid is $99,900, so you can imagine the craze for this game.
The game, like most people who’ve been addicted to it will know, is pretty simple. You’re in charge of getting the bird to stay in flight, helping it navigate between pipes. Flappy Bird has a rather smooth learning curve that only involves you tapping your phone at the right time. This, of course, is easier said than done because it’s pretty difficult to get the moves right and more often than not, you will end up with scores in single digits, if you are lucky to cross the first pipe that is.
The game had turned into an overnight sensation when it received some coverage a few weeks ago, despite the fact that Flappy Bird had been on stores since May 2013. The game received accolades for its simple and smart design and the ability to keep users engrossed for the longest time. Flappy Bird was following the phenomena steps of Candy Crush Saga and Angry Birds pretty well. The app had been on top of the free game category on both Apple’s App store and Google Play and had been downloaded for over a staggering 50 million times. The obsession with the game turned into frenzy in February, so much so that the in-app ads that Nguyen had inserted into the Flappy Bird app was earning him $50,000 a day.
Then he decided to chuck it all out of the window.
On Feb 9, he sent out these tweets:
Nguyen asserted that taking the app down had nothing to do with legal issues, but he was completely and totally fed up of the press the game had been generating. Of course, the game had always generated mixed reactions but accusations about the game cheating users and rigged reviews on the app stores started circulating. The game had been dissected a million times over, it’s resemblance to nostalgic Nintendo games, especially Super Mario used as a criticism tool. Then, there were stories about teens getting violent after some serious Flappy Bird competition.
Nguyen was just a lone, indie developer who was suddenly thrown into the limelight, somewhat unwillingly, before he decided to put an end to the madness. Not even the lure of earning thousands of dollars a day was enough to keep him going. In a way, his necessity to kill the pixilated bird was validated by the outpouring of reactions generated by Twitter users.
The Flappy Bird phenomenon has been a quick crash course in casual games going viral. A trend that was started by the likes of Angry Birds, Candy Crush and Subway Surfers had Flappy Bird for company but just for a little while. Nguyen thought maybe it was time for the crazy roller coaster to stop and for him to get off. In a tweet he mentioned that it was the users overusing the game that made him hate the success of Flappy Bird. He said he wasn’t going to stop making games but Flappy Bird had to go.
Until the next game that drives the world crazy, that is.
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