Flappy Bird's Demise: 10 Things to Know About the Game's Rise, Fall

1 - Flappy Bird's Demise: 10 Things to Know About the Game's Rise, Fall
2 - Flappy Bird Wasn't Always a Hit
3 - Flappy Bird Brought In Serious Cash—We Think
4 - It Wasn't Popular Among Critics
5 - Nguyen Has Other Games
6 - Addiction Stands at Root of the Games Demise
7 - Rabid Fans Also Played a Part
8 - Nguyen Got Death Threats
9 - Copycats Quickly Sprung Up
10 - Used Devices Running Flappy Bird Went On Sale
11 - Malware Creators Pounced
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Flappy Bird's Demise: 10 Things to Know About the Game's Rise, Fall

by Don Reisinger

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Flappy Bird Wasn't Always a Hit

There's a general sense, because of the recent news surrounding Flappy Bird, that it was always a hit. The truth, however, is that it wasn't. Flappy Bird actually launched last May and didn't become a fan-favorite until January 2014. Exactly how it jumped from obscurity to worldwide popularity isn't well understood at this time.

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Flappy Bird Brought In Serious Cash—We Think

The Verge reported recently that Nguyen made $50,000 a day at the height of the Flappy Bird popularity. Some reports have said that he didn't actually make that much money. Nguyen wouldn't confirm what he made each day, saying only that he was generating a boatload of cash. It's odd, then, that with all that cash coming in, he decided to take the app down from marketplaces.

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It Wasn't Popular Among Critics

Although Flappy Bird's popularity soared, it really wasn't an instant hit. In fact, the game received middling reviews in app stores. On Metacritic, a place where reviewers' evaluations are all combined into a single score, the game could only muster a rating in the mid-50s. Based on the critics' sentiments Flappy Bird's sudden popularity might seem odd. But it just goes to show that the critics aren't always right.

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Nguyen Has Other Games

Nguyen is actually an accomplished game maker. He currently has two other games that are fun and somewhat popular and is reportedly planning to launch other titles in the coming months. Although Nguyen has backed away from Flappy Bird, he is still very much in the game business.

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Addiction Stands at Root of the Game's Demise

Speaking to Forbes in an interview recently, Nguyen said that his decision to take down Flappy Bird was steeped in his concern with game addicts. He said that he saw that many gamers became addicted to the title and didn't play in the spirit of how it was designed: casual fun.

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Rabid Fans Also Played a Part

Rabid fans were also at the center of Nguyen's reason to get rid of Flappy Bird. He reported that people were sending him emails, were obsessive over the game and created havoc in his daily life. What was supposed to be a fun game turned into an obsession for gamers who couldn't accept anything short of perfection.

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Nguyen Got Death Threats

According to Nguyen, he received death threats after taking down Flappy Bird. He didn't name names, but said that he was genuinely concerned for his safety. Assuming that's true, it's understandable why he might want to get away from app development for a while.

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Copycats Quickly Sprung Up

If the Internet is anything, it's a place where copycats run amok. That's why it's no surprise that several Flappy Bird copycats have cropped up across operating systems and application marketplaces. Some developers saw an opportunity for quick success, and the cash that went with it, and pounced. It was inevitable, but still sad to see. It remains to be seen whether any of the copycats see any success.

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Used Devices Running Flappy Bird Went On Sale

Here's an odd twist in the story. Some people decided that rather than update their devices and let Flappy Bird just fade away, they would try to sell the devices on eBay with a copy of Flappy Bird on it. As of this writing, one auction reportedly has a top bid of $99,900, while another is more than $90,000. Are they really serious? Is an iPhone with Flappy Bird really worth that much money for a few hours of fun? And how long will it hold its value given how quickly games fade from popularity?

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Malware Creators Pounced

This should be no surprise to anyone, but malware creators also pounced on the Flappy Bird fiasco. According to Sophos and Trend Micro, several applications claiming to feature the Flappy Bird functionality (and in some cases, calling themselves Flappy Bird) have cropped up in third-party Android app stores. Upon downloading them and trying to launch them, they, in some cases, force folks to text their numbers to a third party. Upon doing so, charges are billed to their wireless bills. It's a malware-ridden world.

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