Nishtha KanalFeb 06, 2014 09:45:43 IST
Unless you’ve been living under a rock since the past week or so, you’ve heard of, seen, and possibly even been sucked into the madness that is Flappy Bird. The new runaway hit game on Android and iOS has seen $50,000 a day being made out of in-app advertisements now.
The impossible game with a fairly smooth learning curve involves users tapping on the screen to keep a bird in flight. The bird needs to navigate its way between Super Mario style green pipes that are both on the ceiling and the floor, leaving very little space for the tottering birdie to fly through. If you thought the game sounded simple, you’re pretty mistaken.
Unlike Subway Surfers and Temple Run – endless runner games – Flappy Bird requires you to continually tap the screen in order to keep the bird in flight and not just swipe left and right. Like most cheat sheets for the game on the Internet will tell you, if you blink, you miss in Flappy Bird.
The insanely addictive game has also been minting money. The game’s Vietnamese developer Dong Nguyen of dotGear told The Verge that it was seeing as much as $50,000 in ad revenue each day. Flappy Bird is not available in an ad-free, paid version just yet, so everyone is exposed to the banner ads that appear on top of the smartphone screen.
Nguyen says that the ad-based model is pretty popular in countries like Japan; mini games are free and ad supported. The game was originally released in May 2013, but has only gained massive popularity a few weeks ago, and the addiction, quite like Candy Crush, has been spreading.
The app’s developer has said that he may not be updating or changing the game in any way, and that includes removing ads for a premium version of Flappy Bird. "Flappy Bird has reached a state where anything added to the game will ruin it somehow, so I'd like to leave it as is," he said. "I will think about a sequel but I'm not sure about the timeline."
Nguyen believes that Flappy Bird’s popularity lies in the fact that it is easy to learn. "People in the same classroom can play and compete easily because [Flappy Bird] is simple to learn, but you need skill to get a high score," he said. The game is also compatible with Apple’s Game Center and Google’s Play Games, which means that you can compete with friends and match your scores when you’re done playing and this adds to the popularity of the game.
Flappy Bird has a clear Nintendo influence and Nguyen confirms that games like Super Mario inspired him to make the game. Flappy Bird’s main character, the bird, bears a striking resemblance to Cheep Cheep from the Mario world, in fact, as do the green pipes. Nguyen has other games like Super Ball Juggling and Shuriken Block in app stores too but Flappy Bird is the one running off with the accolades and addictions.
If you do not already have the game on your phone, you can download Flappy Bird for iOS and for Android from their respective app stores. The Windows Phone version of the app is to arrive some time this month, if reports are to be believed.
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