“Flappy Bird” could fly again. Creator Dong Nguyen now tells Rolling Stone he may relaunch the addictive iPhone and Android app. The Vietnamese game creator, who learned how to code his own games by age 16, has reportedly been in hiding since the game was pulled.
“I’m considering it,” Nguyen told the magazine Tuesday regarding “Flappy Bird’s” re-release. He added that if he decides to post the game a second time, it will come with a “warning” to users, telling them “please take a break.”
Nguyen’s original “Flappy Bird” was published by Vietnam-based Gears Studio last May. By November 2013, the title placed 1,368 on U.S. game charts. A month later, the game placed in the top 250 for free apps in the U.S. In January 2014, “Flappy Bird” ranked as the eighth most downloaded free app in the U.S.
In February, the title was being downloaded 2 million to 3 million times per day and pulling in $50,000 in ad revenue daily in Google Play and Apple iOS stores.
As the game grew in popularity, criticism of “Flappy Bird” began to gain traction. Many people accused it of being too similar to 1985’s “Super Mario Bros.” Kotaku even called the mobile game “plagiarism” and “ripped art.” Another 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, of online marketing company Bluecloud Solutions, said in a blog post earlier this month.
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On Feb. 9, Nguyen removed the game, citing all the amount of criticism and negative press it was receiving. “I am sorry, 'Flappy Bird' users, 22 hours from now, I will take 'Flappy Bird' down. I cannot take this anymore,” Nguyen tweeted. He also denied that he was asked to remove the app by Nintendo, a speculation made by many gaming sites. “It is not anything related to legal issues. I just cannot keep it anymore,” he posted on Feb. 8.
Since its deletion, knockoffs of the title are appearing everywhere. Earlier this month, it was reported that 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 “Flappy Bird”-like games continue to flood Android and iPhone app stores. Meanwhile, Nguyen continues to make revenue off the game he pulled from millions of addicted users.
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