"Flappy Bird" has met its end -- permanently, says the developer -- despite some fans threatening to kill him if he pulled it from the App Store and Play Store. Meanwhile, on Tuesday we finally learned why Dong Nguyen (via Forbes) -- he said it was addictive and he couldn't live with the guilt.
Nguyen promised to take down the app on Sunday, though he didn't give a reason, and he did. The app, first introduced in May of last year, didn't skyrocket to the top of the free iOS and Android charts (it was ad-supported with no in-app purchases to remove the ads) until recently. He was making $50,000 a day on advertising, it had been estimated.
Speaking in his first interview since pulling the app, Nguyen said:
Flappy Bird was designed to play in a few minutes when you are relaxed. But it happened to become an addictive product. I think it has become a problem. To solve that problem, it’s best to take down Flappy Bird. It’s gone forever.
Ge has other games in the mobile markets, including "Super Ball Juggling" and "Shuriken Block," which are currently no. 6 and no. 18 in the App Store, respectively.
Undoubtedly the publicity over "Flappy Bird" is increasing downloads of his other apps. Strangely, Android versions of those apps have remnants in Google Search, but have apparently been pulled.
While Nguyen says that he has no plans to pull those apps, he added that if he believed users were getting addicted to them, he would not hesitate to also take them down as well. For now, he called those games “harmless.”
There may be other hits coming, too. With the financial success of "Flappy Bird," he is free to try other ideas. Nguyen said:
After the success of Flappy Bird, I feel more confident, and I have freedom to do what I want to do.
That is assuming angry fans let him survive.
Fans have shown they are addicted. Not only have auctions for "Flappy Bird" laden iPhones spiked on eBay, death threats emerged on Twitter.
CNBC’s social media editor Eli Langer made a list of just a few of the sparking tweets:
“YOU BEST NOT BE DELETING FLAPPY BIRD BECAUSE I WILL MURDER YOU IF U DO.”
"NO ONLY 1 HOUR I WILL KILL YOU IF U TAKE IT DOWN"
“I’ll find you and i’ll kill you.”
“I will kill you mother f**ker.”
"dude i'll kill you dont do this"
One such tweet, though, showed just why Nguyen felt enough guilt to remove the app.
"if you delete flappy bird I will literally kill myself. It's my drug and I am so addicted!! PLEASE DO NOT DO THIS TO MEEE PLEASEE"
So far, Nguyen is still alive, and presumably, coding new, future, hit apps.