The Rise and Fall of Flappy Bird

The Rise and Fall of Flappy Bird

Paul Kritikos, Staff Reporter

May 24, 2013, a game like no other was created. A game so seemingly simple, the true complexity was hidden far within it. This game was called Flappy Bird.

Flappy Bird was made by Dong Nguyen in a matter of three days. The concept is very simple: you play as a bird, and tap the screen on your phone to flap your wings to move through a never-ending field of obstacles. The game doesn’t get complicated until you look at the mechanics of it. The game itself is very repetitive, which may cause you to lose your train of thought for a few seconds. However, a second is all it takes for you to hit an obstacle and lose the game. This is why the game may seem impossible. It’s difficult, but once you get used to it, it’s all based on pure concentration. Any kind of distraction could end your game.

Flappy Bird slowly grew into the most downloaded game in app stores for iOS and the Android store. The game ended up making around fifty thousand dollars a day from in-game ads. It became an icon in the gaming community and among smartphone users alike. With a game this perfect, what could possibly go wrong?

Then, February 8, 2014, eight months later, Nguyen announced that he was going to remove Flappy Bird from the app stores. Nguyen said that “(he) cannot take this anymore” and said that the game was too addicting. Others speculated reasons may involve threats from players of Flappy Bird to Nguyen through e-mail and Twitter.

The next day, the game was removed from the app stores. Following that, some people even put up iPhones on eBay, with Flappy Bird pre-installed for several thousand dollars. It even got to the point that many games were created for the app stores that resemble Flappy Bird, such as Splashy Fish, Flappy Doge, and Fallout Bird. All of these closely resemble the original game, but with a few minor changes. However, Google and Apple have just announced that they will no longer be accepting these spinoffs in the app stores, as long as they have the word “flappy” in the title or have any resemblance to the original game.

Of course, many people still have Flappy Bird on their phones, and thus, the legend continues; but how long until another game comes out and steals the spotlight?

Until then, Flappy Bird will remain flapping in our hearts.