The Life And Death Of Flappy Bird
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The Life And Death Of Flappy Bird

What have we seen over these past few weeks? We’ve seen a small animated bird cause frustration, joy and anger, all because of a mobile app.

Flappy Bird has become the first major craze of 2014, being downloaded over 50 million times since its release, but what has happened to it? Where and how did it take form? Let’s take a look.

The Birth of Flappy Bird

Believe it or not, Flappy Bird was released onto the Apple and Google Play Stores back in May 2013, but only rose to prominence at the start of this year.

Vietnamese game developer Dong Nguyen created the game, and it was then published by GEARS Studios, a small game developer also out of Vietnam.

But the game went largely unnoticed until the start of 2014 when it took the world by storm, largely in thanks to YouTube videos berating its extreme difficulty.

The Life of Flappy Bird

It grew to unthought-of levels of popularity, due to its addictive gameplay and insane difficulty curve, often resulting in foul mouth internet rants about how users couldn’t get into double digits on the game.

Many people simply couldn’t stop playing the game, with Facebook getting inundated with screenshots of the game after users achieved a high score on their latest run.

Publicity grew, especially considering the legal connotations of the game, which looked strikingly similar to the retro Nintendo games of old, but the Japanese giant was reportedly uninterested in making a legal battle about the game.

Further news began hitting the headlines, with a Chicago killing being blamed on the game, after one brother murdered another after his sibling scored 17 on the game, a better result than his brother, who then stabbed him 17 times according to reports.

Despite these reports, downloads and popularity increased further, with developer Dong Nguyen reportedly making over $50,000 a day through advertising.

The Death of Flappy Bird

After further publicity drove the game to higher and higher levels of popularity, the developer was reportedly struggling to deal with the fame and criticism of the game, which had been given mixed reviews.

Dong then tweeted the world saying that he was going to pull the game down in 22 hours on the 8th February, pleading for peace for his simple life.

Of course, the world of apps thought he must have been kidding, considering the monetary gain he was making from the app, but true to his word, the game was pulled from the Apple App Store and Google Play Store on February 10th, slightly later than expected.

A Windows Phone version of the game was in the works, but is seemingly being discarded considering the nature of the removal of the game from other stores.

Following its removal, eBay has seen listings for smartphones bearing the game reach prices of $100,000, with many bids thought to be phony.

Whilst the app can’t be downloaded, those already with it can keep playing, so its death still isn’t complete yet, but is certainly imminent.

Illegal downloads of the game are also available, with rip-off versions of the game also available on most Mobile App Stores.

So is this the end of Flappy Bird? Will we ever see it again? In this esteemed writer’s view, despite its growth to a hugely popular mobile game, I don’t think we will ever see it grace our future smartphones ever again.


Street Talk

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