It’s impossible to make heads or tails of the world of electronic entertainment for mobile devices. In the same way that amazingly fun things are quickly forgotten, other games that are in themselves mediocre and with an apparently simple concept reach unimaginable heights of success. An example of the latter is Flappy Bird, a minigame that has been downloaded more than 50 million times in less than two weeks, although the truly surprising thing is that its creator has decided to take it down from Google Play and the App Store. Dying of success is also possible in this market.
This is a free game for iOS and Android in which you control a bird that you make fly by touching the screen, and when you don’t the bird plunges to the ground. With this simple steering system you have to go over the largest possible number of obstables. So why, then, has something so simple been able to achieve such success?
Although it was already launched several months ago, it was only during the festive season that the game began to be downloaded massively, delivering profits of $50,000 a day in in-app ad revenue to its creator. Dong Nguyen is a Vietnamese developer that never imagined he would become a millionaire with his small independent creations. In fact, the impact of this success has been so enormous on his life that he has removed the game from both Google Play and the App Store.
His reasons for doing such a thing are not entirely clear. In fact, he’s confirmed that although he has withdrawn Flappy Bird from the store, he’s going to carry on developing free games under the label dotGears, and that the decision does not involve legal problems regarding the game’s profits or some sort of third-party copyright infringement. In his own words, success “is ruining his life”—whatever that means.
I can call 'Flappy Bird' is a success of mine. But it also ruins my simple life. So now I hate it.
— Dong Nguyen (@dongatory) February 8, 2014
Although the game has been removed from the main game stores, its APK can still be downloaded from Uptodown with the last version of the game developed by the creator. It’s never too late to try to understand the why behind this sudden success. We’re on it!