Friday, February 14, 2014

Outrage Over Developer Taking Down Top Free App Game

Posted By on Fri, Feb 14, 2014 at 9:00 AM

"Flappy Bird," a highly addictive game, that flew to the top of apps lists for iPhones and Androids has stopped flapping. New players can no longer download the app but some birds keep flapping on the phones of players who downloaded the game before its creator, Dong Nguyen, took it down on Sunday.

According to, more than 50 million people have downloaded "Flappy Bird," which generated billions of ads allegedly earning Nguyen $50,000 per day.

Nguyen told Forbes on Monday that the product had become addictive, "I think it has become a problem." The game was originally developed as a way to kill time. It turned into an obsession for many who spend countless hours flapping away.

The concept is simple. You guide the bird through an obstacle course of green metal pipes by tapping the screen to makes the bird's wings flap. Your score accumulates based on how many openings in the pipes that you fly through. The goal: to senselessly waste your life trying to beat your high score so you can brag to your friends who are also senselessly playing "Flappy Bird" every chance they can.

"I still play 'Flappy Bird,' it's cool to play a game that cannot be downloaded ever again," Tucker Allard, 19, sophomore at the University of Arizona whose high score is 69. "I think the guy is an idiot, he could have made so much more money if he kept at it."

The Apple App Store gives it an average four-star rating from more than 543,000 reviews. Out of the blue it became the top free iPhone app in January.

On Saturday Nguyen tweeted, "I am sorry 'Flappy Bird' users, 22 hours from now, I will take 'Flappy Bird' down." Since then anger flappers have been sending his twitter account death threats.

All of this seems like a lot of fuss over a game but the demand is so high for "Flappy Bird" that eBay is suddenly selling hundreds of phones with the game already downloaded. Asking prices range from the thousands to hundreds of dollars.

Is Nguyen an idiot or a genius? His tweet on Feb. 8 sparked millions of last minute downloads from people who weren't ready to let go of the game.

Although you can no longer download "Flappy Bird" it is only a matter of time before another app replaces it as the new game everyone is addicted to on their phones.

Hunter Sartini, 19, sophomore at the University of Arizona says it's clearly a form of technology addiction but still loves playing the game. "I love it. It's stupid and simple. It wastes a lot of time."

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