Dong Nguyen: Flappy Bird Creator Expresses His Humane Side, Talks About Childhood And Future Plans
By Pavithra Rathinavel | March 12, 2014 6:33 PM EST
In the previous month, the addictive mobile gaming app "Flappy Bird" was pulled out of iOS App and Google Play Stores.
Dong Nguyen, a Vietnamese designer of the app, is still making tens of thousands of dollars from the breakout mobile hit that stormed smartphone users to gaming mode. Aside from Flappy Bird, Dong also found success in other games like Shuriken Block and Super Ball Juggling.
Flappy Bird might return
The knockoffs for Flappy Bird are innumerable. As reported by Cnet, for every 24 minutes, a brand new app was burgeoning on the App Store in the immediate wake of Flappy Bird's demise. A total of three knockoffs currently sit in the top 10 of free iOS games. When Dong announced his decision to pull out Flappy Bird via Twitter within a day's notice, it earned the game more than 10 million downloads in 22 hours.
In an exclusive interview to Rolling Stone Magazine, Dong said: "I can't go back to my life before, but I'm good now," accompanied by a clean-cut look, modest dressing and a cigarette hanging from his mouth. After his decision on Flappy Bird, Dong was reportedly abused online by the die-hard gaming fans. He was also criticized by fans, media alike. But he justified that the decision to kill Flappy Bird from the spotlight was for his own mental well being as it was for those who played his addictive game.
Cnet reported Nguyen elaborated some of the more personal interactions with those who fell prey to the kind of addictive tendencies that game makers like King now deliberately target with Candy Crush and other gaming apps.
Nguyen was told that some people had lost their jobs, mothers who had stopped speaking with their children, all seemingly because of Flappy Bird and its addiction. It was something Nguyen never intended or asked for, and yet had no control over.
Dong confided how the games can be as addictive and destructive as any other evil, and that he hated he was putting people through through it with his app.
Rolling Stone's David Kushner got Nguyen to open up about his upbringing and design influences. Nguyen said he first fell in love with games by playing Super Mario Bros on a knockoff Nintendo his parents bought for him and his brother due to its expensive nature.
His idea was to make a game that could be played with one hand on the subway, and could process use the simplest input anywhere in the screen. Remarkably six months after its release, the app encountered its first mention on Twitter, according to reports.
Nguyen lived with his parents in a modest home. Thanks to his app's prominence and the acquired wealth, he's thinking of buying his own apartment and a Mini Cooper while he stays with a friend. Nguyen also told that he is working on couple of new gaming apps.
To contact the editor, e-mail: