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Flappy Bird Hits the Pipe, Removed from App Stores


Flappy Bird has been something of a flash in the pan. It came from nowhere, got very popular and has now been taken down from the app store by its creator, Dong Nguyen

It’s a simple game, but one that manages to make its point very well. You must tap to keep your little Flappy Bird in the air, avoiding Mario-esque pipes that come from the top and bottom of the screen. It’s difficult – very difficult, but it was also very addictive. A lot of people who played it a lot claim they didn’t even like it all that much, to the point where Twitter and Facebook were filled with people angry at a game they were choosing to play.

That wasn’t the only problem Flappy Bird had. Many saw the pipes, sound effects and characters as too similar to those of Mario Bros. It’s a fair comment, and one that’s only a little hypocritical (many of these people are probably proud supporters of Mario Crossover). The difference, as in all cases, is money. Nguyen is reported to be making $50,000 a day from Flappy Bird.

So why has the game disappeared if it’s that successful? The simple answer is: Nguyen never expected it to be a hit, and from the very beginning he had mixed feelings about it. He refused to speak with the press, and became annoyed with people who contacted him via Twitter. In a few short weeks, he became relatively well off, received death and legal threats, horrible criticism, racist rants and unexpected praise. He’d had enough. 

It won’t be the end of him though. Posting to Twitter, Nguyen confirmed that he’d “still make games.” He’s probably desperately hoping he’ll never have another hit again.


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Mat Growcott has been a long-time member of the gaming press. He's written two books and a web series, and doesn't have nearly enough time to play the games he writes about.

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