The demise of Flappy Bird

What in the World?

Mark Patteson, Staff Reporter

Like its iconic, vacant yellow sprite, Flappy Bird has fallen flat on its face after soaring to new heights. Tired of a barrage of criticism, fan obsession and far flung conspiracy theories, the game’s Vietnamese creator Dong Nguyen removed it from the iPhone and Android App Stores.

Explaining his decision on Twitter, Nguyen wrote “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.”

Released on iOS last May, Flappy Bird went largely unnoticed until this winter, when its popularity exploded after a series of five star reviews on Twitter and the App Store. Social media prompted millions of twitchy-thumbed masochists to try the game. At its peak, Flappy Bird was the top downloaded game on iOS and Android, with more than 50 million downloads reportedly earning Nguyen $50,000 a day in ad revenue.

Other app developers quickly rushed to fill the vacuum of power created by Flappy Bird’s abdication. Desperate for more spectacular failure, the crazed masses launched a series of clones to the top of the charts: As of Tuesday, the four most downloaded games on the Apple app Store were all shameless copies of Flappy Bird.