Flappy Bird creator explains why he killed the world's most popular app

Creator Dong Nguyen says Flappy Bird is "gone forever" because it was too addictive.

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The creator of the recently departed mobile gaming hit Flappy Bird has said that the application is now gone forever, maintaining that the reason he yanked his $50,000-a-day success story is because it was too addictive.

“Flappy Bird was designed to play in a few minutes when you are relaxed,” explained 29-year-old Vietnamese creator Dong Nguyen in an interview with Forbes. The interview is Nguyen's first since he removed Flappy Bird from iOS and Android (though there are now dozens of clones in its place) over the weekend.

“But it happened to become an addictive product. I think it has become a problem. To solve that problem, it’s best to take down Flappy Bird. It’s gone forever.”

Forbes says that its interview with Nguyen was delayed by several hours because the developer had an unexpected meeting with Vietnam deputy prime minister Vu Duc Dam. The interviewer also notes that Nguyen appeared stressed throughout.

Nguyen, who has received multiple death threats both before and after removing iOS and Android downloads for Flappy Bird, said that “my life has not been as comfortable as I was before” following the breakout success of the app.

"Thank you very much for playing my game,” he said to fans.

During the interview, Nguyen maintains that his decision for removing Flappy Bird was not because of any legal threats from Nintendo, which is what many suspected as Flappy Bird features green pipes that resemble Nintendo's famous iconography. Nintendo has also said that it did not pursue legal action against Nguyen.

Despite the potential money to be made from keeping the application running, Nguyen adds that he's confident in his decision. “I don’t think it’s a mistake,” he says. “I have thought it through.”

Following Flappy Bird, Nguyen says he plans to develop more games. "After the success of Flappy Bird, I feel more confident, and I have freedom to do what I want to do.”

Discussion

100 comments
k41m
k41m

Why do I keep seeing the same shit written about in articles? I've been coming to this site for years but keep it up and I'm just going to move to IGN and see what thats like.


Btw I realize they aren't concerned about losing a lowley peasant like me, it wasn't a threat.. I'm just stating my opinion that I don't like seeing the same shit written about in 15 different articles and I won't keep coming here if it keeps up. 


Hmph.

BARRICADE_28
BARRICADE_28

He removed the game because he realized it sucked, like everyone else who played it.

DigiRave
DigiRave

Death threats for removing an app?! o_O Those people should be killed.

Stinger78
Stinger78

Maybe I should upload the apk back to the Google Play Store...

MaddenBowler10
MaddenBowler10

Everyone in this room is now dumber, for having listened to this.

troller83
troller83

well atleast he managed to get some media coverage...look at idiotic Gamespot for example...instead of showing of some other true gems out there...they are like writing 10 articles  about the same game...and I'm expecting another 10...


way to go...you guys are Legends

jazero1987
jazero1987

If he dont want to be famous and dont want all the money he could send to me i take all of it 



HE the Idiot right now. he give up alot money 

UKFX
UKFX

"Too addictive" Hmmmmmmmmm biggest line of bullshit I've ever heard.

It goes like this...

Nintendo claim they had no problem with the game but they actually did. They told the guy who made it, they'll give him a load of money if he removes the game and keeps quiet about it.

He agreed.

Ahh such naivety.

Goukakyuu91
Goukakyuu91

He removed it because it was addictive? Pffft... right. Because Flappy Bird is the only game that can get addictive, and becomes FAR more addictive than any other game. Frickin lol. Like some users have said, I think either the Vietnamese government has something to do with it, or he simply couldn't handle the success. But then, he said he would create more games, so that argument wouldn't make any sense. Unless he's just not ready at this point but will be in the future. Weird, anyway.



TehMasterer2
TehMasterer2

The guy was getting death threats before and after taking it down (and by looks of it, in quite large volumes) so it must really have been addictive for a lot of people. Or people just need to take a chill pill, perhaps. Poor guy...

Gelugon_baat
Gelugon_baat

Wait - a meeting with the Deputy Prime Minister of Vietnam?

I suspect that he may have had a run-in with that nation's censors.

hadlee73
hadlee73

Game #1 is incredibly addictive. Contestant A, what do you do?
Nguyen: "Get rid of it! Make sure people can't download it anymore so they don't get addicted to a game!"

What do you think, Contestant B?
EA rep: "Add micro-transactions."

Ultra_Taco
Ultra_Taco

Sounds like this guy is either a troll or an idiot.

Deftallica
Deftallica

I was at work a couple days ago and a couple of my customers were showing me this game.  I don't play many games on my iPhone and I hadn't even heard of it until that point.  Then I come home and read it's "gone forever".  Ah well.


Only game I really play is Simpsons: Tapped Out.  And I wouldn't even classify that as a game really.

Redsyrup
Redsyrup

I'm guessing he's using the publicity to capture more add revenue. It's hard to keep up $50,000 daily without creative marketing.

nurnberg
nurnberg

I think the real reason is that Vietnam is a poor communist country, and making money over there is considered a bad thing.  The communist government has something to do with it.  He was forced to remove it.  Obviously he won't talk about it.

Dannystaples14
Dannystaples14

Hmm I played for about a minute and even though it was hard and simple all I could think was that it was only really hard because the control and tap implementation is terrible and my god does the game suck.

Any game who's only income is from advertisements should be killed with fire!

Thanatos2k
Thanatos2k

Also, if you intended people to "relax" while playing your game, why did you make it so hard?

Thanatos2k
Thanatos2k

What a liar.  "Too addivctive"?  The game hasn't even been out a month.  People will play it a lot for a short time, get tired of it, and forget it existed.


We all know why he really pulled it down.

Xatsuna
Xatsuna

Learn to read properly people. Let me quote the article for you


Nguyen, who has received multiple death threats both before and after removing iOS and Android downloads for Flappy Bird, said that “my life has not been as comfortable as I was before” following the breakout success of the app.

Learn to read people. Death threats in Vietnam is serious business. They don't joke around in Vietnam.  When they give you a death threat in Vietnam. They seriously mean it.


It is a good thing this man value his life more than he value his money.

meep50
meep50

He didn't remove it because it was addictive, he removed it cause he couldn't take the pressures of the success he had. He need to stop lying to himself with that "its too addictive" nonsense. I wonder if the death threats were only online. 

Redblaze27
Redblaze27

I guess he wants to be "that guy" that killed his own success story.

tom2750
tom2750

why did he receive death threats? was it massive Nintendo fan boys upset because it resembles Mario games a little bit?

glacius_x
glacius_x

I smell B.S. some where. "because it was too addictive." I guess he should stop having sex as well because it was too addictive. Okay now what is the real reason? I call public hype for a part 2.

Xristophoros
Xristophoros

well, being harassed and seeing death threats everywhere you look is not something anyone should have to go through. the stress and fear must have simply been too great for him to bare. goes to show how toxic the gaming community can be. i'm not a supporter of this game in any way. but just because i think it's a piece of trash doesn't mean others shouldn't be allowed to enjoy it. phil fish experienced something similar from what i understand and now he is living in the shadows and taking a break from game development.  

RossRichard
RossRichard

He killed it for the free publicity. That way, when he makes Flappy Birds 2 everybody will know about it.

StHapns247
StHapns247

In another interview Dong Nguyen revealed himself to be Phil Fish.

DigiRave
DigiRave

@UKFX  kind of along the lines of what I was thinking. Keeping quiet about it would minimize any backlash against Nintendo from customers.

reBOOT2099
reBOOT2099

@hadlee73 Even though EA is evil, I am not a basher about everything that has their name on it like most people here. But that made me laugh out loud for real, especially since it's the truth. Thanks :)

Poidad
Poidad

@Redsyrup  Yeah I was thinking the same thing, take the app down for awhile with some silly story, then wait 6 months and put it back up, everyone will flood back and buy it.

JachAnen
JachAnen

@nurnberg I highly doubt it. As long as he pay taxes I think they are good. After all, even communist countries have rich people.

vorbzv
vorbzv

It's been out almost a year

Tzardok
Tzardok

@Xatsuna  But, he still hasn't solved his problem, because as clearly stated by the article and replicated by you, death threats continue to happen after the app went down, probably an addicted third party. So, now he is not making as much as before, but continues to have a knife to his neck, at least with money you could increase your own security.

Tzardok
Tzardok

@meep50  You know, I have a lot of questions similar to yours as well. I mean, sure there can be cultural differences were being too addictive can be a bad reason, but to me as a westerner it looks off. More over I would love to think that Nintendo's threats were real (because nintendo is just as evil as the next corp) but they have made a formal statement that they did not threaten the developer. I do believe this to be true, otherwise nintendo would need to go around the world threading people and then a pattern could be established, which it hasn't.


This leads me to believe or conclude even, that there are two possible scenarios:


- Its either a cultural thing I don't get

- Or there is a higher entity putting pressure on him for some reason, which remains to be revealed.


Regardless, money is not necessary a key to happiness, so this can also be added to the first point.


I wonder if we will have some follow-up later about him, I do wish him well however as he is clearly troubled by the fact.

Thanatos2k
Thanatos2k

@tom2750 Because his game was a copy of another game, used stolen assets, and he was making lots of money off the advertising.

The1337Dunham
The1337Dunham

@tom2750  It was because the game was hard as shit and everyone got mad because it was so hard for some reason.

Tzardok
Tzardok

@Xristophoros  Crap, a good reminder btw. Better think twice before launching any of my own stuff...

Jaxith
Jaxith

@DigiRave @UKFX If Nintendo was worried about backlash, wouldn't it have made more sense for them to do nothing?  You know... Like they said they did?  And what logical reason would they have to pay the guy off even if they did have a problem with it?  He could have just said no and told the media, 'Hey, Nintendo's being naughty.'  That would have caused even more backlash.

I think you guys are being way too paranoid.  The guy thought his game was too addictive?  He was sick of receiving death threats (which didn't stop when he removed the game, apparently); or he just didn't like the impact his game was having.  These are all valid reasons for his actions.  Trying to make it some conspiracy is a bit much.

Xatsuna
Xatsuna

@Tzardok @XatsunaDoes not matter how much money he has. He could be Bill Gates and still be killed. The Mafia in Vietnam does not joke with death threats. If they see that you are successful then they will force you to pay protection money.
Death threats is not a joke in Vietnam. They will kill you and it does not matter how much money you have. The whole communist government in Vietnam are corrupt and the Vietnamese mafia controls the government.

Zloth2
Zloth2

@Xatsuna @Tzardok Well at least somebody is paying attention.  Death threats from some kid that can't even drive a car are one thing.  Death threats from the chief of police are very much another.  Especially if your body guard asks if you understood the message as soon as you hang up the phone.

I don't know what scared this guy into giving up $50k/day but something sure did.