Who would have guessed that a game would cause this much protest? Pressured by media outlets and public outcry, Flappy Bird developer Dong Nguyen has revealed the real reason he removed the extremely popular app from the App Store and the Google Play Store, and it’s not what you may think.
According to BGR, as carried by Yahoo! News today, Nguyen revealed in a Forbes interview that the game was simply "too addictive." The fact it was so time consuming became troubling to Nguyen, and he felt it was in the best interests of all to remove it.
“Flappy Bird was designed to play in a few minutes when you are relaxed,” the developer said. “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.”
Nguyen maintains he took the game down solely for altruistic concerns, and denies he received legal threats from Nintendo, despite some of the imagery, such as the green pipes, looking suspiciously familiar. If his concerns for removing the popular game are truly selfless, then Nguyen is walking away from an estimated haul of $50,000 per day from the free game’s ad revenue.
Nguyen of course declined to confirm that number, simply stating: “I don’t know the exact figure, but I do know it’s a lot.”
Forbes discusses the clandestine interview with the man behind the game, who agreed to the meeting under circumstances that would make one think he was an enemy of the state.
“The circumstances surrounding the interview, conducted in Vietnamese, were as much of a soap opera as his public ruminations about whether to take down the app. The interview with Forbes took place in a hotel in Hanoi, with a strict condition that Forbes not reveal Nguyen’s face. It was delayed several hours, in part because Nguyen had a sudden meeting with Vietnam’s deputy prime minister Vu Duc Dam – a remarkable turn of events for someone unknown a week ago. Nguyen says his parents didn’t even know that Flappy Bird existed, much less his role in it, until media coverage spun out of control in the past few days.”
Nguyen said his other games, such as Super Ball Juggling and Shuriken Block, which are currently #6 and #18 on the iOS store, respectively, will remain, for now.
According to the creator, they are “harmless,” but Nguyen did add that if he perceives they are also becoming too addictive, he will not hesitate to pull the plug.
“My life has not been as comfortable as I was before,” Nguyen said of the Flappy Bird craze. “I couldn’t sleep.”
Not sure if Nguyen has been able to catch up on any sleep, considering recent reports state Nguyen has received death threats for pulling the app.
Nevertheless, we haven’t heard the last of Nguyen. He says he will continue to develop games. “After the success of Flappy Bird, I feel more confident, and I have freedom to do what I want to do.”
When asked if there’s anything he wanted to tell disenchanted fans of Flappy Bird, Nguyen simply conveyed: “Thank you very much for playing my game.”