Mobile gaming phenomenon Flappy Bird has been pulled from the Apple and Google Play app stores, after its Vietnamese creator said its fame “ruins my simple life”- although he has not ruled out a sequel.
Launched in May 2013, the ad-funded game was free to download and required players to tap the screen to keep the bird in flight.
Despite its simple graphics, Flappy Bird was notoriously difficult since many users could only keep the bird in the air for a few seconds before it hits an obstacle and falls.
Dong Nguyen, who created the game in just two to three days, was making as much as $50,000 a day from the game’s ad revenue.
In several Twitter posts on Sunday, he said the game’s removal was not due to legal issues and that he may make a sequel.
Nguyen, who describes himself as a “passionate indie game maker”, also said on the micro-blogging site that he will not sell Flappy Bird but that he will still make games.
In a series of tweets yesterday, Vietnam based Dong Nguyen told fans of the game: “I am sorry ‘Flappy Bird’ users, 22 hours from now, I will take ‘Flappy Bird’ down. I cannot take this anymore. It is not anything related to legal issues. I just cannot keep it anymore. I also don’t sell ‘Flappy Bird’, please don’t ask. And I still make games.” The timing of his messages would map out an apparent deadline of early on Sunday evening.
As promised, at 5.15pm Sunday, the game became unavailable to download – first appearing on the app store with an error message, then gone from search results altogether.
Flappy Bird was released last May and did not initially make a huge dent in the download charts. But it became known for its difficulty and the number of players began to rocket- further boosted by a review on popular YouTube channel Pew Pew Die and its launch on the Androind platform.
With its booming popularity, however, Nguyen began receiving abusive messages from users who had become haunted by its trickiness. In one of the game’s more light-hearted reviews, he was called an ‘evil genius’ for devising such a devilish game. Other messages were sent with an angrier tone as players became increasingly frustrated.
In a previous tweet, Nguyen said: “I can call ‘Flappy Bird’ is a success of mine. But it also ruins my simple life. So now I hate it.”
On Twitter, there were widely-used hashtags of #RIPFlappyBird and #SaveFlappyBird, with several “Save Flappy Bird” accounts being spawned as well.
The game is no longer available through online stores, but it still works on phones that had previously downloaded it.
As a result, some online users have offered to sell their smartphones still containing the Flappy Birds app for large sums of money.