“Flappy Bird” may fly again. When asked in a Twitter exchange on Wednesday if he planned to bring the game back to the "App Store," Dong Nguyen responded: “Yes. But not soon.”
Nguyen said in the March 11 issue of Rolling Stone that he was thinking about relaunching the "Flappy Bird" app for the iPhone and the Android. “I’m considering it,” Nguyen, 28, said, adding that if he decides to work on a new version of the game it will come with a “warning” to users: “Please take a break.”
Nguyen’s original “Flappy Bird” was published in May by Vietnam-based Gears Studio. By November 2013, the title ranked 1,368 on U.S. game charts. A month later, the game placed in the top 250 for free apps in the U.S., and, in January 2014, “Flappy Bird” ranked as the eighth most downloaded free app in the U.S.
Nguyen, who said that he learned how to code his own games by age 16, surprised players in February when he pulled the game, claiming it was becoming too addictive. He has reportedly been in hiding ever since. “I am sorry, 'Flappy Bird' users, 22 hours from now, I will take 'Flappy Bird' down. I cannot take this anymore,” Nguyen tweeted hours before removing the app. He also denied that he was asked to remove the app by Nintendo because it was too similar to its popular "Super Mario Bros." game (a speculation made by many gaming sites) that was released in 1985. “It is not anything related to legal issues," Nguyen posted on Twitter last month. "I just cannot keep it anymore.”
At the height of its popularity, "Flappy Bird" was being downloaded 2 million to 3 million times per day in February and reportedly pulling in $50,000 in ad revenue daily in Google Play and Apple iOS stores.
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One blogger questioned whether the massive success of “Flappy Bird” was due to the use of bots, or fake accounts, run by computers to falsely create downloads or reviews. “Looking at some of the top apps in the store by Nguyen, I hate to say it, but it looks really similar to bot activity,” Carter Thomas, the founder of San Francisco-based online marketing company Bluecloud Solutions, said in a recent blog post.
Since "Flappy Bird" was deleted from app stores on Feb. 9, knockoffs of the title have been appearing everywhere. According to a March 5 report, 60 “Flappy Bird” knockoffs were being added to Apple’s App store every day, averaging to about one game every 24 minutes. “Flying Cyrus” and “Pugo” were among the more successful knockoffs but hundreds of similar ripoffs continue to flood Android and iPhone app stores. Meanwhile, Nguyen reportedly continues to make revenue off the game.
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