Is This Goodbye to Flappy Bird?

 

The phenomenon that is Flappy Bird is set to be removed from the App Store because the creator says he hates it for ruining his ‘simple life.’

Flappy Bird has been a phenomenal success in recent months following its predecessors Angry Birds and Candy Crush. But, there has been talk that this highly addicting game will be removed from the App Store soon because the creator, Dong Nguyen, just wants to live in peace.

Mr. Nguyen took to Twitter to announce his decision to finally pull the plug on this addictive game. He says that he cannot take it anymore.

Mr. Nguyen is based in Vietnam. He says that his decision is not related to any legal issues but insists that he just cannot keep it anymore. On the other hand, he says that he will continue to make games but will not sell Flappy Bird. Flappy Bird is estimated to make $50,000 in revenues everyday from advertisements.

Because of this decision, the Twitter account named @SaveFlappyBird has been created. This account posted an image of a direct message exchange with the game’s developer in which he said that he will reconsider his decision if he sees that many people enjoy the game.

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Fans who have already downloaded the app need not worry though. It is still available for use on their smartphones or tablet post-installation.

Flappy Bird

Flappy Bird is a fairly simple game. It involves tapping your phone or tablet’s screen to propel a small bird through a series of strategically placed pipes reminiscent of Super Mario games. It has been a huge success in recent months.

If you think that’s easy, think again. Try playing the game and you will see how addicting it is. If you tap too much, the bird goes up too high and may end up banging into one of the pipes. Tap too slow and the bird might just fall to the ground. You need to tap ‘just right’ in order for the bird to pass through the series of tall and short pipes. Just getting through the first pipe is hard work especially for first time users. You need to strategize and time your taps well in order to proceed to higher levels.

The scene does not change even if you reach a higher level. Every pipe you pass takes you up a level. It just goes on and on and on until the bird dies.

History

The app was released in May 2013 but it did not start receiving high download volumes until December.

The Controversy

Any successful undertaking often has some controversy following it. Flappy Bird is not immune to it. It has received criticism for its popularity. There is speculation that bots have been deployed to download the app thousands of times making the game propel up the download charts.

This issue was discussed in a blog post exploring the phenomenal success of the game by app builder Carter Thomas. He called into question the legitimacy of Flappy Bird’s rankings. When the game was  first released in May 2013, it received little attention from the UK App Store for iPhone. It was not until January 2014 that the game really picked up. It leapt from being number 1454 in the GB Family Chart to number one in the GB Games, Family and Overall Charts in just 26 days. It has remained on that spot ever since.

This ranking history results are mirrored in the US download ratings. This has caused Mr. Thomas to speculate whether fake accounts run by computers have falsely elevated the app up the charts.

For those of you who are not familiar about rankings, ranking in the iTunes App Store is primarily driven by the number of an app’s downloads. This means that IP addresses can be cloaked to create false Apple accounts triggering millions of downloads to virtual devices.

There is also question about Flappy Bird’s number of five star reviews despite some negative words being used in the reviews. Players are saying that the game is ‘life destroying’ or that they are going to kill themselves. This, despite giving the game a 5-star rating. Of course, this can be the work of fans but its sheer volume of ratings is also worthy of attention.

Incredibly, Flappy Bird has been rated 75,755 times compared to Twitter’s iPhone app that only has 62,372 ratings. Anyone who sees those numbers especially game developers will ask its legitimacy.

Mr. Thomas said in his post that this is the first time that he has seen this happen in the app store. He said that if it’s just a viral game like Gangnam Style, then his hat is off to the developer, Dong Nguyen. He also wishes him the very best of luck and success.

Moving on

As mentioned, the game has been downloaded many, many times (by legal means, we can’t really say for sure) and has been continuously dissected in Twiiter as a source of great addictive frustration. Players have vented their anger at its creator who in return said not to take the game so seriously, which is a wise advise indeed. He also said that the game is not for everyone and hopes it won’t cause any harm.

When contacted to comment on this issue, Mr. Nguyen refused to deny claims. He said that he respects all other opinions and won’t comment. He’d like to make games in peace.

Earlier this month, he spoke out against the unwelcome press attention garnered by Flappy Bird’s success. He said people are overrating the success of his games. Furthermore, he said that he never wanted that kind of attention and just wants peace.

The mystery surrounding Flappy Bird’s overnight success is far from being solved or discovered. Whether this pixelated bird will take its last flight or not, fans will just have to wait and see.

For those who have not yet played the game, download the game now while it is still available and experience the phenomenon that is Flappy Bird.