Created in two days by Vietnamese developer Doug Nguyen, Flappy Bird is a very simplistic game that has you dodging passing pipes in order to rack up a high score. Originally uploaded to the App Store in May 2013, it’s only within the last two weeks that the game has taken the world by storm, hitting number one on the iOS and Android’s most downloaded free titles (and apparently earning its creator $50,000 a day in ad revenue). Now today its solitary developer has announced via Twitter that he plans on taking the potential Angry Birds killer down for good tomorrow.
Over the past two weeks of the game’s success, it’s seen a lot of controversy – and it’s not difficult to see why. For starters, it’s an exceptionally average/bad game, with dozens of better, equally addictive games available on the market. The game’s difficulty balance is way off, the pipes are seemingly ripped straight out of a Mario game, the bird character appears a bit blurry when it’s in motion and the game is generally just a bit… well, boring. All it has are its charming graphics and there’s better games to find that with.
This, as well as the fact that it’s randomly sprung to the limelight months after its release, has led many to speculate that the game has rose to fame thanks partially to a flood of fake reviews by the developer boosting its placement on the App Store – something that, when confronted about, its developer refused to deny. Admittedly, this seems plausible: the game had received more ratings than even the Twitter app before the game hit its peak and the wording of most reviews are nearly identical.
Apart from this, the primary controversy has been regarding its extreme similarity to fellow mobile game Piou Piou, where you play as a yellow bird dodging green obstacles. Although it’s arguable whether this is purely a coincidence due to the common nature of both games, it does seem unlikely given their exceptional similarity.
Of course, none of this matters now if the game is indeed taken offline forever tomorrow. The developer has seemed somewhat plagued by how all of this sudden wealth and fame has negatively affected his simple life as of late , so it’s unclear as to exactly why he’s decided to take the game down, though it’s likely due to all of the negative attention and criticism he’s been attracting. Oh, and he’s decided for now not to sell the game either.
Now let’s add ‘throwing away $50,000 a day’ to the controversy list.