Flappy Bird enjoyed a meteoric rise to both iOS and Android super stardom, reportedly earning its creator, Vietnamese developer Dong Nguyen, $50,000 a day in ad revenue. The game was installed over ten million times in less than two weeks and instantly generated a rabid following practically as passionate as Star Wars fans. Freeze dried fan, just add flap. The game's popularity, however, caused so many issues for its creator, that he removed the game from both Apple and Android's app stores. Never fear though, we have the APK below.
The Flappy Bird Effect
A bird flaps its wings in Vietnam and causes a tidal wave across the world. In this case the tidal wave was support and a mixture of fandom and hatred. Sadly, both contributed to the demise of the game. Nguyen tweeted recently that the game is for sure a success, but that has ruined his simple life, concluding that he now hates it. There's plenty of us that hate it too, and yet I installed it no less than three times on my Android in two weeks: once on day one, again for an article (I uninstalled it after that first day) and then again when I knew the game was to be taken down – just in case).
There are dozens of Flappy Bird clones in the Play Store already, and now that the king is dead there will be even more pretenders to the throne. Many of those clones have cleverly added 'not Flappy Bird' to their title simply to cash in by association (not to mention blatantly ripping off the 'original'). As several commentators have noted on Twitter, Nguyen is either a PR genius or a fool. One commenter noted that by ditching the game he has bought himself something invaluable: attention to his next act. Plus the free publicity for his existing games. And the fact that now, the whole world knows his name, not just Flappy Bird's.
I can call 'Flappy Bird' is a success of mine. But it also ruins my simple life. So now I hate it.— Dong Nguyen (@dongatory) February 8, 2014
The life span of the game, which strangely mirrored the experience of the game itself, is over. It came, we obsessed, we laughed, we cried, we uninstalled, we reinstalled. And then the honeymoon ended. As Marques Brownlee stated in response to its removal: 'Global productivity up 800%'. Perhaps Flappy Bird was only ever going to be popular for a short time: a flash in the pan, a flap of a Hummingbird's wings. But its legacy will carry on in the dozens of clones it spawned, the internet furore over its impact and removal, and the fascinating awareness of what I will forever now call the Flappy Bird Effect.
Did you get caught up in the Flappy Bird effect? Why do you think the game was so popular, so fast?