The demise of Flappy Bird…Here’s how you can keep playing!
If you haven’t heard, the insanely popular (and difficult) iPhone and Android mobile game Flappy Bird has been removed from both the App Store and Google Play store as of yesterday. The developer of the game, Nguyen Ha Dong, told his 138K Twitter followers that he couldn’t handle the success of the game and hated that it ruined his simple lifestyle. According to many reports on Dong’s success, he was making as much as $50,000 a day in advertising revenue.
However, there were a number of contributing factors that led to the downfall of that little pixelated bird. For instance:
- Flappy Bird’s sudden burst in downloads during November 2013 (along with other titles developed by Dong’s .GEARS Studios) was suspicious and possibly the work of bots. This is a tactic used be some unscrupulous developers that attempt to game the system. For instance, if their app starts appearing in the Top 50 download charts, that only leads to more downloads. Prior to November, Flappy Bird was a fairly unsuccessful title. You can read a full account of this hypothesis here.
- Media picked up on the blog post above and spent the last week hounding Dong on Twitter for answers. He attempted to ignore the attention, but this only increased pressure from the press. When he did respond, his tweets displayed annoyance and frustration.
- According to Dong’s friends, he had received a warning letter from Nintendo recently due to the extreme similarities of Flappy Bird and Super Mario Brothers when it came to the design of the green pipes in the game. While representatives for the Big N claim they aren’t drawing up a lawsuit at this time, it’s likely that the letter encouraged Dong to remove the game from the App Store and Google Play store. Dong had also previously received letters from other developers claiming that their ideas were stolen, but likely no one as big as Nintendo.
We suppose Dong will spend his nights crying about the demise of Flappy Bird and wipe away his tears with $100 bills. However, you don’t have to stop playing. While we certainly don’t recommend purchasing an iPhone 5S with Flappy Bird installed for $2,000 on eBay, there are a few other alternatives looking to take the place of the Flapster. They include:
- Flappy Doge: Quite possibly the greatest amalgamation on the Internet, Flappy Bird has been combined with the wonderful Doge meme. You can play this flash game for free on your desktop computer here.
- Ironpants: (iOS / Android) Basically the same exact concept as Flappy Bird, just swap out the bird for a superhero named Ironpants. It’s free, but laden with advertisements.
- Flappy Bee: (iOS / Android) Again, offering a similar concept to FB, but using a bee instead of a bird. Obstacles are more plentiful in this game. Also free.
- Impossible Road: (iOS) Rated highly by iOS players, Impossible Road will remind you of marble madness. Not really a direct competitor to Flappy Bird, but just as difficult.