On Sunday, February 09, 2014, Flappy Bird was taken off the app download market by Vietnamese creator/owner Dong Nguyen. According to BBC, Nguyen was making around $50,000 per day from the game’s advertising revenue but he says the game was ruining his “simple life” and he just wants things to go back to the way they were. Although Nguyen could have sold the game for an insane profit, he stated publicly on Twitter that he was not interested in selling it; however, several smart phone owners have found a way to cash in on the addictive game.
When Flappy Bird was removed from app download stores, smart phone owners started posting phones with the app downloaded on them for sell on eBay and collecting large sums of money. For instance, one seller with an iPhone 5s fetched a sum of $12,000 even with the phone in used condition. There are several other instances where sellers are collecting anywhere from $2000 to $5000 for phones of all makes and models simply because they have the Flappy Birds game app installed on them.
One new listing for a Samsung Galaxy S3 with Flappy Bird starts out at a $400 bid with a Buy It Now price of $5997. This seems to be about the average starting price that smart phone owners are asking of anyone who wants to own the Flappy Birds app. Most auctions are set to last for only 24 hours and have a Buy It Now price for those who want to snatch up a phone with Flappy Bird without going through the bidding process.
It is no secret that people love crazes and collecting popular items. From Beanie Babies to Flappy Birds there will always be people who will give enormous amounts of money to own a rare item that everyone else just has to have. It will be interesting to watch the Flappy Bird craze unfold over the course of the next few days as we wait to find out how much money collectors are willing to pay to own a game that can no longer be downloaded. It will be even more interesting to see if Mr. Nguyen has started a trend amongst game/app creators of creating a game and then discontinuing it only a short time later.