Flappy Bird met its sudden death less than a day after its mysterious developer announced Sunday that he was going to take the extremely popular app down. The big question is why. Dong Nguyen has finally spoken up about the real reason why he killed his very lucrative creation.
And yes, he is very much alive, despite the cruel and twisted death hoax report that has been circulating online.
Speaking for the first time since he took down Flappy Bird from iTunes and Android marketplaces early Monday, the Vietnamese developer revealed to Forbes the reason why he pulled the plug on the app.
“Flappy Bird was designed to play in a few minutes when you are relaxed,” he said.
“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.”
Addictive is perhaps the best word to describe the app. The frustratingly difficult yet simple game managed to turn relaxed players into infuriated users. For the past few weeks, Facebook timelines and Twitter feeds have been inundated with Flappy Bird posts from people sharing their scores online.
But by killing off the hapless bird, Nguyen has walked away from his very lucrative creation.
His interview with The Verge earlier in February revealed that he earned an estimated USD50,000 per day from the game’s in-app ads. And at 29 years old, Nguyen has struck it rich.
As for the reports that Nintendo had sent him a cease-and-desist order regarding the apparent similarities of his app to the green pipes found in the classic Super Mario Bros, they were groundless. Nguyen said that the similarities of the pipes were just purely coincidental. He also denied receiving such letter or that his decision to pull out the app has anything to do with legal issues.
Forbes noted that Nguyen has agreed to the interview with the condition that it did not reveal his face. Until media coverage revealed his role in the game, his own parents didn’t even know that Flappy Bird existed or that he was the mastermind behind it.
He reiterated that it was guilt that made him kill Flappy Bird. That and the fact that the game made his life uncomfortable, saying, “I couldn’t sleep.”
With Flappy Bird gone, he said that his conscience is finally relieved.
“I don’t think it’s a mistake,” he said of his decision. “I have thought it through.”
Although Flappy Bird became more of a burden than a blessing to him, there’s one good thing that it brought him.
“After the success of Flappy Bird, I feel more confident, and I have freedom to do what I want to do.”
His message to the players of his app was simple: “Thank you very much for playing my game.”