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Flappy Bird removal wasn't Nintendo's doing

Spokesperson says company had no issue with mobile game's similarities to Mario franchise.

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Flappy Bird's similarities to characters and elements from classic Mario games did not upset Nintendo and the company was not involved in the game's much-publicized removal this weekend.

"While we usually do not comment on the rumors and speculations, we have already denied the speculation," a spokesperson for the company told The Wall Street Journal.

Creator Dong Nguyen said previously that Flappy Bird's main bird was inspired by Super Mario Bros.' "Cheep Cheep," and the game's green pipes are also an homage to Nintendo's work.

Nguyen removed the game from iTunes and Google Play yesterday after writing on Twitter: "I cannot take this anymore." He said the game's removal was not due to legal reasons. While his true motivation for pulling the game is unknown, he spoke previously about the game's dramatic and rapid rise to prominence adversely affecting his formerly simple life.

The game was pulling in an average of $50,000 in daily ad revenue. Though Flappy Bird is gone, if you have it installed on your mobile device, you can still play. What's more, a handful of clones have emerged, though be aware they feature microtransactions while the original was fully free except for the advertising.

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