Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 11th Feb 2014 23:08 UTC
Games

The mysterious developer of the world's most popular free app, who drew global attention this past weekend with his sudden decision to remove it, tells Forbes that Flappy Bird is dead. Permanently.

This will go down as one of the craziest stories in what I reluctantly call "technology" of all time.

Order by: Score:
Erm...
by Phloptical on Tue 11th Feb 2014 23:30 UTC
Phloptical
Member since:
2006-10-10

....and why do we care? I had never heard of this dumb game before he "pulled it".

Great marketing ploy, by the way.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Erm...
by WorknMan on Tue 11th Feb 2014 23:46 UTC in reply to "Erm..."
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

This dumb game was based on a flash game that is several years old, and is one of the greatest time wasters ever created:

http://www.play-helicopter-game.com

Honestly, I'd rather play either of these than most retail games on the market now days, esp the tons of shitty military shooters on offer.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Erm...
by zima on Thu 13th Feb 2014 17:51 UTC in reply to "RE: Erm..."
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

I always thought it was already on some 8-bit microcomputer from the 80s...

Anyway, the game even found its way to Rockbox, as Chopper Game:
http://www.rockbox.org/wiki/PluginChopper (you can check it out in http://rasher.dk/rockbox/simulator/ if you don't have a supported DAP)

There was also a small craze around http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Techno_Kitten_Adventure a few years back ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6jK_MMTpvrk I'd like to give them a saucer of milk if you know what I mean)

Reply Score: 2

RE: Erm...
by ricegf on Tue 11th Feb 2014 23:53 UTC in reply to "Erm..."
ricegf Member since:
2007-04-25

Great marketing ploy, by the way.


It's a great marketing ploy to pull the product permanently from the market? You're new to this whole capitalism thing, right?

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Erm...
by saso on Wed 12th Feb 2014 00:01 UTC in reply to "RE: Erm..."
saso Member since:
2007-04-18

"Great marketing ploy, by the way.


It's a great marketing ploy to pull the product permanently from the market? You're new to this whole capitalism thing, right?
"
If you had read the original article, you would have come across this:
Nguyen has several other top app store games, including Super Ball Juggling and Shuriken Block, which are currently #6 and #18 on the iOS store, respectively.

It's entirely consistent with him pulling one game in order to stir up controversy and boost his brand recognition. This whole story smells like that "Trees for Cars" scam.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Erm...
by allanregistos on Wed 12th Feb 2014 00:28 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Erm..."
allanregistos Member since:
2011-02-10

"[q]Great marketing ploy, by the way.


It's a great marketing ploy to pull the product permanently from the market? You're new to this whole capitalism thing, right?

If you had read the original article, you would have come across this:
Nguyen has several other top app store games, including Super Ball Juggling and Shuriken Block, which are currently #6 and #18 on the iOS store, respectively.

It's entirely consistent with him pulling one game in order to stir up controversy and boost his brand recognition. This whole story smells like that "Trees for Cars" scam.
"

And you interpret it negatively? The point that he pulled down his game is it ruins his simple life(He said), let us just accept on what he says, period.

People really is quick to interpret events negatively, and accuse people wrongly even if they are still at the innocent stage. We are on the "guilty until proven innocent" mentality. What I've learned is always right, that people should have a fair trial before making a judgment.

Edited 2014-02-12 00:33 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Erm...
by Phloptical on Wed 12th Feb 2014 01:51 UTC in reply to "RE: Erm..."
Phloptical Member since:
2006-10-10

"Great marketing ploy, by the way.


It's a great marketing ploy to pull the product permanently from the market? You're new to this whole capitalism thing, right?
"

And based on the amount of free press this guy is getting, you still think it's going to be "Permanent"?

I've got a nice bridge in New York I'd like to sell you, by the way.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Erm...
by thegman on Thu 13th Feb 2014 00:48 UTC in reply to "RE: Erm..."
thegman Member since:
2007-01-30

"Great marketing ploy, by the way.


It's a great marketing ploy to pull the product permanently from the market? You're new to this whole capitalism thing, right?
"
I'm not suggesting that it is a marketing ploy, but I'd imagine that with this publicity, then his next game will get a lot more attention than most.

Or maybe there will be a 'campaign' to re-instate the game.

Again, not saying it is a publicity move, the game being taken off the market does not prove otherwise.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Erm...
by reduz on Thu 13th Feb 2014 12:05 UTC in reply to "RE: Erm..."
reduz Member since:
2006-02-25

Nintendo definitely sued him and forced him to take it down.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Erm...
by Bobthearch on Thu 13th Feb 2014 14:30 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Erm..."
Bobthearch Member since:
2006-01-27

Seems not.

In an email to The Wall Street Journal, Nintendo spokesman Yasuhiro Minagawa on Monday reiterated previous company statements that the Japanese videogame giant hasn’t complained at all about Flappy Bird’s similarities to Nintendo’s original “Super Mario Bros.”

“While we usually do not comment on the rumors and speculations, we have already denied the speculation” last week, he said.


http://blogs.wsj.com/digits/2014/02/10/no-complaints-about-flappy-b...

Reply Score: 3

Yesterday's news
by Orichalcum on Tue 11th Feb 2014 23:54 UTC
Orichalcum
Member since:
2014-02-11

Oh, well. Time to play Jumpy Cat
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.gamgo.jumpycatgoog...

Can't get over 35 in this dumb game. There are people with scores in the 100's but I bet they are robots.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Yesterday's news
by Lennie on Wed 12th Feb 2014 10:15 UTC in reply to "Yesterday's news"
Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

And a HTML5 version works on every other platform than the iOS and Android version didn't cover yet:

http://seetio.com/flappy-fish/

Reply Score: 3

Publicity stunt
by cmost on Wed 12th Feb 2014 00:04 UTC
cmost
Member since:
2006-07-16

Hmmm... put out a stupid addictive game. Wait until some press about how popular it is, then threaten to pull it. Then sit back while the morons rush to download the game before it's gone and then populate online petitions and scream for it's return once it finally is gone. Marketing 101 if ever I saw it. This programmer is either a genius or a total idiot. In either case, as a thinking person who likes real challenges I couldn't care less about 'Flappy bird.'

Reply Score: 2

RE: Publicity stunt
by shmerl on Wed 12th Feb 2014 00:12 UTC in reply to "Publicity stunt"
shmerl Member since:
2010-06-08

Or may be he simply doesn't care. He developed it for fun, made some money with it and doesn't want to bother further. If he cared he could for example open source it and etc.

Edited 2014-02-12 00:12 UTC

Reply Score: 6

RE[2]: Publicity stunt
by Lennie on Wed 12th Feb 2014 10:16 UTC in reply to "RE: Publicity stunt"
Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

First of all it was a free app.

Second, it's a stupidly simple game, there are many replacements already.

Basically, it doesn't need to be open sourced.

Then again, someone mentioned below it was ad-supported.

So in that case he did make money from it.

Edited 2014-02-12 10:18 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE: Publicity stunt
by Morgan on Wed 12th Feb 2014 00:41 UTC in reply to "Publicity stunt"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

You should read the interview with him, perhaps it will change your mind from its black-or-white "he's an idiot or an evil genius" stance.

Basically, the guy made the game nine months ago, spending all of three days on it, as a fun little distraction. It sat in the app stores for months with nearly zero activity. Then a few people got addicted, word got spread, and this being the age of the Internet, it went viral as things tend to do. He was blindsided by the immediate attention (negative and positive), the press coverage, the death threats, and the sudden influx of tens of thousands of dollars every day. He wasn't sleeping, and was more and more depressed every day. He finally had enough and dropped it altogether. For the first time in weeks, he could sleep.

For those who say "but I'd put up with all of that for that kind of money", I seriously doubt it. What good is money if you have neither the time nor the sanity to spend it? The guy's whole world was flipped on its head in just a few days; he just wanted to get back to being himself again.

All of that is, of course, assuming you believe him. I do, but obviously not everyone does.

Reply Score: 16

v RE[2]: Publicity stunt
by Soulbender on Wed 12th Feb 2014 04:36 UTC in reply to "RE: Publicity stunt"
RE[3]: Publicity stunt
by Morgan on Wed 12th Feb 2014 04:52 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Publicity stunt"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

Oh my God, the horror of making really good money in a country where most people are incredibly poor. Yeah, that must be an awful experience in every way.


Indeed, look at how quickly winning the lottery here in the US can ruin someone's life. Now imagine that happening to a poor farmer's kid in a communist, horribly corrupt country. At the very least, he probably has several criminal organizations fighting over who will kidnap him or his family for ransom. His own government might be cooking up a way to take it all from him, and if he's lucky he'll get away with his life.

Yeah, I'd put up with all of that because honestly it isn't very much to put up with.


You say that as if it's happened to you. Has it? No? Then you don't know that for sure. I live less than two miles from a guy who was a music legend for most of the 80s and 90s in his genre. He hasn't been in the limelight for many years, yet he still lives a reclusive life and avoids people whenever possible. Fame does strange things to people; imagine going from being absolutely no one to an infamous figure overnight.

What time exactly does he not have? He have to do nothing but sit on his ass and let the money roll in.


From what I've read, he had been up nearly 24 hours a day every day between the constant phone calls, media literally at his door, Twitter and Facebook blowing up his phone, death threats rolling in by email, support requests regarding the game, local folk obsessed with their new neighborhood celebrity, and so on.

But hey, what do I know? I read an interview with the guy, but you obviously know him in person since you're so sure none of that really happened or is an issue. Oh, what's that, you don't know him? And you've never been in his situation, yet you know exactly what he's really going through?

Bloody moron.

Reply Score: 10

RE[4]: Publicity stunt
by Soulbender on Sat 15th Feb 2014 04:38 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Publicity stunt"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

Indeed, look at how quickly winning the lottery here in the US can ruin someone's life


And I have no sympathy for people in that predicament either.


At the very least, he probably has several criminal organizations fighting over who will kidnap him or his family for ransom. His own government might be cooking up a way to take it all from him, and if he's lucky he'll get away with his life.


Speculation. You don't know any of that.

Now imagine that happening to a poor farmer's kid in a communist, horribly corrupt country.


How'd you know he's a poor farmer's kid? Poor farmers in the Vietnam country side generally do not own computers (especially not expensive Mac's) or have internet access.

death threats rolling in by emai

Those only happened after he removed the game.

I read an interview with the guy, but you obviously know him in person since you're so sure none of that really happened or is an issue.


How do you know any of that happened or what his issues are? According to the guy himself the only reason he removed it is because it was too addictive. All this fame and fortune and stress and whatnot is speculation by journalists, bloggers etc.

Edited 2014-02-15 04:40 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Publicity stunt
by Morgan on Sat 15th Feb 2014 11:00 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Publicity stunt"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

How'd you know he's a poor farmer's kid? Poor farmers in the Vietnam country side generally do not own computers (especially not expensive Mac's) or have internet access.


Speculation based on his interview and other articles about him. My grandparents were chicken farmers, my mother was (and is) a social worker, and my father was a disabled veteran. We were about as poor as it came, but somehow my parents still afforded a computer for me (even an Apple at one point) growing up. Besides, the guy is 29 years old and lives with his parents. Even poor, it's not hard to scrape together enough money for a second hand Mac. Or did you think he strolled down to the local Apple Store in a communist country and bought a shiny new Macbook Pro?

My point being, both of us are speculating as we don't know the whole situation. I'm perfectly willing to admit to that, however you have given the position, more than once, that your worldly knowledge is all you need to know for sure exactly what he is or isn't going through. News flash: You don't. Neither do I, or anyone else but him, really, but at least I base my speculation on what he said. So stop being a self-important douche and realize not everyone is living your shiny, perfect life. Not even you.


How do you know any of that happened or what his issues are? According to the guy himself the only reason he removed it is because it was too addictive. All this fame and fortune and stress and whatnot is speculation by journalists, bloggers etc.


It's clear you didn't read the interview, or even his tweets about it. The addictiveness of the game is only one reason he dropped it; his life was flipped upside down by it and he couldn't take it any more. You keep trying to force your version of what happened to suit your point of view, whereas I'm directly referencing what actually happened and what he said. You're making a fool of yourself to satisfy your own ego. It's really pathetic.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Publicity stunt
by allanregistos on Wed 12th Feb 2014 05:17 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Publicity stunt"
allanregistos Member since:
2011-02-10

"and the sudden influx of tens of thousands of dollars every day


Oh my God, the horror of making really good money in a country where most people are incredibly poor. Yeah, that must be an awful experience in every way.

For those who say "but I'd put up with all of that for that kind of money"


Yeah, I'd put up with all of that because honestly it isn't very much to put up with.

What good is money if you have neither the time nor the sanity to spend it?


What time exactly does he not have? He have to do nothing but sit on his ass and let the money roll in.
"

Learn and live in a country similar to ours. Learn and live in a so-called "third world' country and experience extreme poverty and then an instant millionaire in just a few days and still you can live the way you did as before and let us see what will happen to you.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Publicity stunt
by Soulbender on Wed 12th Feb 2014 10:18 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Publicity stunt"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

Learn and live in a country similar to ours. Learn and live in a so-called "third world' country and experience extreme poverty and then an instant millionaire in just a few days


I have and I do (well, not the poverty part), that's why I have a low threshold for this kind of stuff. I see people every day that lives under extremely impoverished circumstances who would do a anything to have what this guy has.
Lets face it, from all appearances this guy isn't some rice farmer in the Vietnam countryside or live in the city slum. He got a computer, internet access and and enough free time to write mobile games. In other words, he's reasonably well-off. Spare me how hard it is to go from rags to riches. Compared to the issues faced by most people in his country he has a damn luxury problem.

Edited 2014-02-12 10:30 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: Publicity stunt
by Thom_Holwerda on Wed 12th Feb 2014 10:24 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Publicity stunt"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Except you have no idea about his circumstances, his personal life, possible issues he may have, or any of the consequences this may have had for him, his family, and his friends. You know nothing, Jon Snow.

Until you do, would you kindly not judge?

Edited 2014-02-12 10:34 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: Publicity stunt
by Soulbender on Wed 12th Feb 2014 10:41 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Publicity stunt"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

Except you have no idea about his circumstances, his personal life, possible issues he may have


It's called experience, you'll have it too one day. I have a pretty good idea about the living conditions of people in general in Asia (much more than you do, I dare say) and it's highly unlikely that he is not reasonably well-off (by Vietnamese standards).
But hey, If someone comes along and shows me that he lives in a shack in the slum and barely gets by I'll eat my words.

any of the consequences this may have had for him, his family, and his friends


I'm sure it had consequences but that doesn't mean I have to sympathize with him. There are many worse things that can happen to a person than having an wildly successful mobile game.

Reply Score: 3

RE[7]: Publicity stunt
by Thom_Holwerda on Wed 12th Feb 2014 10:50 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Publicity stunt"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

So, just because you've been to/lived in Asia for a while, you know this one specific Vietnamese person's life, personality, living conditions, friends, family, history, mental and physicial health, financial situation, how the insane fame and attention affected all this, how he deals with constant death threats, how all thia ffected him, his friends, his family, his health, and so on, and so forth?

You know nothing.

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: Publicity stunt
by zima on Thu 13th Feb 2014 17:58 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Publicity stunt"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

from all appearances this guy isn't some rice farmer in the Vietnam countryside or live in the city slum. He got a computer

And a Mac at that, which tends to carry a disproportionate price premium in such marginal markets...

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Publicity stunt
by magick on Wed 12th Feb 2014 07:57 UTC in reply to "RE: Publicity stunt"
magick Member since:
2005-08-29

... and the sudden influx of tens of thousands of dollars every day. He wasn't sleeping, and was more and more depressed every day.

Poor bastard! I wonder who's gonna play him in a movie - Leonardo DiCaprio or Matt Damon?

Reply Score: 4

craze
by nicubunu on Wed 12th Feb 2014 09:00 UTC
nicubunu
Member since:
2014-01-08

I am puzzled by the reports of phones with Flappy Bird offered for sale for hundreds or thousands of dollars on eBay. With a mere 1000$ one could hire a developer and a designer and produce a *perfect* clone in less than a week. Heck, if doing the work in the "right" place one can do it for even 100$.

Reply Score: 2

It's a slightly deeper story
by pysiak on Wed 12th Feb 2014 09:26 UTC
pysiak
Member since:
2008-01-01

Because this game has since then been recreated by others. You know... the Internet delivers! The collective is there to fill the void.

Behold: Clumsy Bird:

http://ellisonleao.github.io/clumsy-bird/

Don't brake your space bar ;-)

Reply Score: 3

Great story
by Odisej on Wed 12th Feb 2014 09:39 UTC
Odisej
Member since:
2006-05-11

Maybe the guy has all the money he needs. I read somewhere that even though he pulled the game he will still be receiving the money from ads on the phones with the game already installed.

Besides the guy already had money. Or at least his family. Judging from the pictures. Did you think about the fact that he is just simple guy who wishes to have a normal life. Don't judge him until you see what happens. It may be a great human story after all.

And don't talk about countries like Vietnam as if there is nothing but poverty there. There are people with more money you and I will ever have. Together. And we are talking about millions not two or three of them. Google "dual economy" and you might change your interpretation of the world.

Reply Score: 3

Flappy Bird will Flap On
by Luke McCarthy on Wed 12th Feb 2014 11:37 UTC
Luke McCarthy
Member since:
2005-07-06

I have the APK if anybody wants it...

My best score so far is 7. The butthurt from the game industry calling it a "stupid game" or "derivative" shows they can't see the wood for the trees. No wonder they're spending millions to make over-produced games that suck. All they see is surface details, but the core of this simple game is actually a stroke of genius (none of the clones I've played get it quite right).

Edited 2014-02-12 11:42 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE: Flappy Bird will Flap On
by Kivada on Thu 13th Feb 2014 05:49 UTC in reply to "Flappy Bird will Flap On"
Kivada Member since:
2010-07-07

All I know of this game are the descriptions in the article. But from that it sounds to me like the basic game mechanics of the trip mode mode of the NES/Famicom game Balloon Fight.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=acT_Q3wnF9g

Which if you haven't played is far more challenging then it looks, especially as your thumb wears out since you have to keep spamming to stay airborne. A turbo controller is actually a bad idea as it spams too fast, you end up crashing into things above you.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Flappy Bird will Flap On
by Bobthearch on Thu 13th Feb 2014 06:01 UTC in reply to "RE: Flappy Bird will Flap On"
Bobthearch Member since:
2006-01-27

There was also a similar paper airplane game for the MacOS back in the 1990s. Not exactly a cutting edge genre.

Reply Score: 3