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Here’s the real reason Flappy Bird was removed

Published Feb 11th, 2014 6:30AM EST
Why Flappy Bird Was Removed

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In an exclusive interview with Forbes, 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. According to Nguyen, the game’s addictiveness is what convinced him to remove it, and the app is not coming back. “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, who has other popular games in the iOS store, denied receiving any threats from Nintendo, and said that wasn’t the reason he removed the app, adding that in case any of his games becomes equally addictive as Flappy Bird, he will not hesitate to also pull them from stores.

In addition to guilt related to Flappy Bird’s addictiveness, Nguyen says his life was not “as comfortable as I was before,” and that he couldn’t sleep because of the app. Thus, removing the app isn’t a mistake according to him, as he has “thought it through.”

Nguyen’s increased popularity may have indeed become a burden for the developer. Forbes reveals that he agreed to talk to the publication only on condition that photos of him would not be shown, and then was delayed as the developer met with Vietnam’s deputy prime minister Vu Duc Dam on the same day. Recent reports revealed that Nguyen has received death threats for pulling the app.

The app developer would not confirm how much money he made with Flappy Bird, although some estimates say he may have collected as much as $50,000 per day from ads – the app was available as a free download – and said he would continue to develop games.

Flappy Bird can still be played on the devices it’s installed on, and a web-based clone and a Pebble app version are also available to users. In fact, hardcore fans can even buy devices with Flappy Bird pre-installed from eBay, although they may be more expensive than you’d think.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.