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Flappy Bird creator, Dong Nguyen, taking down game; "I can't take this anymore" (twitter.com)
209 points by adriancooney on Feb 8, 2014 | hide | past | web | favorite | 180 comments



I feel for the guy. He made something a while ago, put on the market without much fanfare and then out of the blue his game suddenly shot to the top and raked in 50 million downloads. If you're not expecting it and you don't have the right people around you, all this publicity (a lot of which is quite negative, despite the game's popularity) can be pretty hard to take for some people. Remember Susan Boyle's breakdown post her win on Britain's Got Talent?

Having said that, I've spent a couple of hours playing it since the first posts on HN showed up (yesterday) and got myself a top score of 50. I feel the appeal is in its simplicity.

I hope the creator takes some time out and gets the support he needs.


I have toiled for projects for many years which raked in far less than that annually.

I have seen people toil for many years for absolutely no return.

In both instances, subjected to "the internet is mean" behavior.

I will trade you making very little or making nothing and getting the worst of the internet in exchange for getting $50k/day for it, until the ride ends. In fact, for $50k/day, you can have my direct phone number. In fact, you can come to my house and piss on my carpet and blow smoke in my face all day long, for as long as the $50k keeps coming in.

Unless there is some sort of mental instability involved, I can not understand any developer - no matter how random or unexpected - saying "oh, the internet is so mean, I'm taking my stuff down and you can keep your $2,200/hr".

Also, can we dispense with qualifying everything with "the internet is mean"? this has been the case for decades. We don't need to preface every comment with it and qualify everything we ever say with a comment about how the internet is going to be mean to you for what you're going to say. We all know the internet. We've been here with it for a very long time. It is getting almost as obnoxious as when people begin every sentence with "to be honest", only it makes people come across even more insecure.

(I know this was a bit of a rant, but I've been realizing in recent months that a whole percentage of every podcast or article or show I ever watch that has anything to do with the internet can be attributed to the people on it whining about the mean internet or prepending forthcoming statements with how the internet is going to be mean to them for saying something.

Are we still going to be doing this in another twenty years or are we going to be over it?


Wellll, I don't wanna be a dick or nuthin' but it says on your chart that your shit's all fucked up.

uh, you talk like a fag and your shit's all retarded...

What I'd do is just like... you know... huhuhhhuuh huhuh... like know what I mean? Like, huhuhuh huhuh...


Remember Susan Boyle's breakdown post her win on Britain's Got Talent?

The media story around Boyle wasn't "she has got an amazing voice", it was "wow, such a nice voice coming out of something so ugly". Even Futurama got in on the deal by literally depicting her as an ugly arse-wart. Boyle wasn't contending with the normal 'surprise fame' story.


This is actually quite common behavior. You see this a lot in any sort of craft where you get sudden and unexpected success, they end up resenting their creation or feel some disconnect between the effort they put in and the result.


You also tend to get a whole different level of weird attacks when you hit that. When you suddenly go from mildly obscure musician or developer to unexpected-spotlight, a huge pile of people appear to tell you that your thing is shit and you should feel bad for making it, whereas when it's safely obscure you don't tend to get that a lot.


Sorry, but $50k/day compensates completely for any potential resentment. Especially coming from the real world, where stalkers and people showing up at your door and getting hold of your phone number because of a service or product you provided that drew a few nutjobs rarely comes with any compensation.

He should make all the money he can, laugh off the haters (whatever haters there are - I have only heard people talking either about how much they like the game, how frustrating the game is, or how nuts it is that it is making so much money for what it is). He could ride it out for a few weeks (or months, if he's lucky) and retire. Especially in his part of the world.

This artsy-fartsy turtle-head-back-in-shell thing is pretty crazy.


Who the $#%^ wants to "retire" when they're not even 30 years old? What does that even mean? Never create anything again, just potter around and waste the rest of your life away until you die, because of a meaningless stroke of luck when you were younger?

What I suspect you're not getting is that $50K/day is NOT 350x more rewarding-feeling than $1K a week. He can't just sit around and bask in some wonderful "I win" feeling, laughing off the haters.

There's an important point where you start making the money you need, then another where you start making the money you want (to reduce your future risk, to take reasonable good care of your parents as they age, etc.).

But the number going up beyond that doesn't give you anything good; it just makes you more of a target, separates you from everyone you interact with, gives you a heavier responsibility, makes it harder for you to just live the modest, comfortable life you were hoping for.

Money is not a goal in itself; or rather, only for the profoundly short-sighted. It's an enabler. If it's making him a target, and alienating him... why should he want that?

-- Edited: somehow I had the idea he was a teenager; corrected that.


They probably feel there's a disconnect between effort put in and resulting popularity because that's objectively true.

And I understand feeling resentment when faced with a shining, blinking example of how unfair such things are and how hard it is to get popular even with something very good.

Note: this is a comment about the general case


As a side note, Dong has doubled his Twitter followers in one hour from 7000 to what now is nearly 16000. Whatever was his real intentions, he is receiving media attention which will most likely last even after he pulls out the game.

You could speculate that he is trying to make a name for himself, so that the upcoming games would make him a stable income. As an indie developer he should know the fact that Flappy Bird won't last long - for example, Rovio is making over half of its income from other physical brand items. I'm not saying you will see Flappy Bird soda next year, but the games Dong releases later will most likely gain more attention thanks to Flappy Bird and Twitter is a way to make sure that the fans will notice it.


"You could speculate that he is trying to make a name for himself, so that the upcoming games would make him a stable income."

$50k a day ... even if it only runs a couple weeks ... is beyond "stable" for Vietnam. As a reference-point, the average monthly income in that country is under $200.


If you think about it in that context i.e. "everyone around me is making $200/mo and they live reasonably well, I've now made 250 times that in day, which is average income for next 20 years, for X days, I can now retire and maybe let the heat die down a little"


You could speculate that he is trying to make a name for himself, so that the upcoming games would make him a stable income.

Are you speculating that, or are you suggesting that others should speculate that?


It's an expression, bro. Calm down.


It really bothers me just how heatedly pernickety some users are.

WoodenChair, your request for calm is greatly appreciated.


HN has quite an interesting population of bots that comment. You might think they're human, but they're super pedantic, much more than any human you would meet in real life.


I'm sorry if that's a grammar mistake. I was trying bring my own idea out without saying that Dong would actually do it for PR. So yes, that's me speculating.


Since when did the words could and should mean the same thing?


My teenager students will be devastated by this. They really liked the game. We also had a good class discussion about adverts, the amount of money you can get from adverts, and the cost of living in Hanoi.

The main thing is that they worked out that there is a human being who lives somewhere and who has a name sitting down at a computer and hacking away at this game so they can play it.


Cost of living in Hanoi is so high because of strict building codes. They have these towers, you see, and they constantly have to move them a floor at a time across the city, and the larger floors have to sit below the smaller floors, with a severely constrained workforce. It's a logistics nightmare.


Oh god, I bought this hook, line, and sinker. Son of a...


The optimal number of moves follows this recurrence relations: T(1) = 1 T(N) = 2 * T(N-1) + 1


They should hire someone to devise a strategy so they can move the floors more optimally.


If someone were able to do that, they could leverage it into a very high-up position somewhere. Three-post towers of hanoi is an easy problem. Four-post is still unsolved.


Have we turned against fun facts?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reve%27s_puzzle


slow clap


well done


Incidentally, Hanoi is a really nice town, and unlike most neighbouring jurisdictions Vietnam doesn't tax imported food and wine products to oblivion. Internet there's a lot better than in neighbouring China or Laos, and they don't have a Cambodia/Sweden style history of randomly exfiltrating hackers without due legal process.


Hanoi is an enormous city. The internet has gotten worse in Vietnam. Bloggers are regularly arrested for having opinions. Starting sometime last year, Vietnam has put some heavy restrictions on the internet. Look up Decree 72. You are no longer allowed to share news stories. Having said that, Vietnam is still a beautiful country with delicious food.


The internet in Hanoi is still probably better than nearby Nanning. The Chinese are just really good in creating walls, even if they are firewalls.


Has any politically contentious hackers decided to live there who were not Vietnamese?


Not sure, but at least one very large scale, convicted drug smuggler from the glory days of California does, and they seem to leave him alone.


This very recent tweet from Dong seems to explain his motivation: https://twitter.com/dongatory/statuses/432096186313355264

other guy: "No problem, but you hate the success of Flappy Bird?"

Dong: "Not because of them but because how people use my game. They are overusing it."


And in about a month or two Flappy Bird fever will wear off and folks will move onto something else.

Don't turn down millions of dollars because people are doing what people do! Someone remind him of all the folks who have downloaded his game and stopped playing nearly immediately...,


This might come as a shocker to many people on HN, but many people do not like money.


It's not noble to waste opportunity like that. If he doesn't like money, he should take the money then give it away. A lot of poor people would kill to have that money to feed themselves and their families, or send their kid to school - if he feels so inclined he should take it and give it to them. If not, he's wasting a huge opportunity to either be very rich or very charitable out of some poorly thought-through righteousness.


So you advocate doing things you find morally objectionable while telling yourself that it is the right thing to do because you can give the money away afterwards? That sounds insane to me.


I think it's morally objectionable to waste a rare opportunity when one could just as easily channel that opportunity towards the benefits of others.


This really does not compute for me, so it's bad to stop ruining people's lives if in ruining their lives you could help other people's lives? What if the people addicted and raging over Flappy Bird are the same ones that you think should be helped?


I mean let's just think about it here. Is Flappy Bird really ruining people's lives? Flappy Bird? Really?


You're conflating two acts: he has produced a game, and being addicted to games ruins some people's lives. But if he withdraws his game, their lives don't suddenly get un-ruined. They just switch to some other game.

Basically, you're suggesting that an equilibrium of (1 person-hour stolen by addiction : 1 person-hour of ad impressions given to charity) should be replaced with (1 person-hour stolen by addiction [just to some other game] : 0 person-hours of ad impressions given to charity). Note that there is no "0 person-hours stolen by addiction" option.


Yeah this is basically like drug dealers saying I give all the money to charity.


Actually yes: a casino run by a cult of effective altruists would probably do more for the world than most charities.


He doesn't produce the money. He just takes money from people. Giving it away is not the same as not taking it in the first place.


No, it's not noble, but being noble isn't such a great thing either. It's being true to one's self and following the path you choose. Nothing more, nothing less.


Yep they either have it already or they are fucking idiots. It's a fundamental lack of appreciation for good luck.


Dude common. You have to see it from his point of view. His money and fame aren't coming from a prestigious accomplishment. He probably doesn't want to be known for a flappy bird game for the rest of his life. Imagine being the guy who invented the turd scrubber brush next to the toilet. Everyone owns that brush but would you want to be known for it? Associated with it?


I have to say yes, I would have no problem with being known for inventing a toilet brush, or flappy bird. I'd be proud, even.

I know that people can have strangely fragile egos but the idea of being upset for being known for something, no matter how benign, is completely foreign to me.


? Then why is your account username "throwaway092834".


Because I have found the internet in general to be at times crude, ignorant and destructive. I don't want to concern myself with considering self-censorship to ensure self-preservation. Instead I chose to contribute anonymously so that I may challenge the status quo or speak truth to power without personal concern.

I assure you it has nothing to do with embarrassment. It's unfortunate, but speech often has very serious consequences.


I'm sure our friend the flappy bird developer feels the same way. With insults thrown his way constantly over the game and a massive popularity he wasn't ready for, I'm sure he wishes he was anonymous as well.


We're discussing different things. You're talking about fame and internet comments which have no real impact, at least, not to me. I don't have a problem with people insulting the code I publish under my real name.

I'm talking about the potential for real life harassment (folks calling my employer, showing up at my house, swatting, etc) if I were to say something controversial. I am specifically concerned with being doxxed and criminal harassment.

There's a vast world of difference between people making comments in poor taste over a game and the level people sometimes go to if they engage in an argument and lose in an embarrassing way. I would not recommend that anyone freely engage in internet debates in a non-anonymous fashion.


Flappy bird can make it possible for him to fund his next adventure (or next 10), whatever he chooses that to be. He should think forward a bit more. It's extraordinarily rare to be in the position to take advantage of opportunities like that. What he'd be effectively doing is just handing the money off to Clumsy Bird instead. If he has any dreams for the future, he should view it as funding those dreams; which could be anything from a future game, to charity. Just my opinion obviously.


The disappointing part is that he apparently has such poor self-esteem, he thinks that he will not be able to create anything more popular than this game, even with all the money he's generating.

Regardless of what he builds, what industry he is in, there will always be people there to criticize. Why throw away opportunity that most people wish they had due to something that will occur regardless of the revenue?

Being a martyr only works in certain circumstances. This is not one of them.


> The disappointing part is that he apparently has such poor self-esteem, he thinks that he will not be able to create anything more popular than this game, even with all the money he's generating.

If you look at mobile game development, it's not a bad bet to guess that he won't. It's a big ol' dart board.


I agree. There's a subtle difference between being sincere and being intelligent.


> Flappy bird can make it possible for him to fund his next adventure (or next 10)

If he lives in Vietnam, one day would set him up for the rest of his life.


Actually, it's more like he's going to have to deal with fake people for the rest of his life.


There's nothing more to life than profit. Except maybe regretting your priorities on your deathbed, but whatevs, you won't be worried about it for long.


You and pikachu_is_cool are boggling my mind right now. The guy is having a moderately high amount of money coming in for him now, based on something he did out of passion. There is nothing wrong with money for stability. If you don't like it, give it to charity... or save for health issues, because we all now realize just how pricey a scrape can be in America.


It's not the money itself. It's what comes with the money. Once people know you are capable of making the money, they will never stop stalking you, following you, pretending to be your friend, fervently hating you (this happens SO OFTEN), stalking you, harassing you, etc. No amount of charity donation, hell, even burning all of your money won't fix it.

There is literally nothing coming back from it other than waiting for the hype to die out. And that's what Nguyen is trying to do. Trust me, I'm talking from experience here.

I guess I might be in the minority here, since most people on HN are trying to become the next Mark Zuckerberg with their startups. Maybe they like that kind of attention. However, I, Dong Nguyen, and many people like us do not like that kind of attention. You don't know who your real friends are, and as he put it, it "interrupts my quiet life".


Dong Nguyen lives in Vietnam.


even if you actually hated money, it seems strange to turn your back on your passion because it came with a shit ton of money.


Oh yeah, becoming rich is so great. You can buy whatever you want for people you are not entirely sure are your real friends.


If you literally don't want the money, give it to charity.

Problem solved, get back to your passion.


give it to charity, use it to sustain more development on your games, use it to build a company that can just focus on making your games, use it to fund or invest or donate to other gaming projects... etc.


It's not the money. That doesn't matter. It's that people find out about the money. Once people know you are capable of making the money, they will never stop stalking you, following you, pretending to be your friend, etc. No amount of charity donation, hell, even burning all of your money won't fix it.

There is literally nothing coming back from it other than waiting for the hype to die out. And that's what Nguyen is trying to do. Trust me, I'm talking from experience here.


you're missing the point.


I don't buy the premise of either of those hypotheticals.

Where is he turning his back on his passion? It doesn't sound like the way people are responding to Flappy Bird are the embodiment of his passion he wants. And his passion is in game dev, not an oddly specific passion for riding only the Flappy Bird app to success. Taking it down doesn't mean he can't build different games.

I also reject the idea that it was because of the money alone that he is taking the app down. Money wasn't the only byproduct of the success. Far be it for me to make assumptions, but it may be the "ruins my simple life" levels of baggage that came with the success of Flappy Bird.

My post was attempting to point out that he may have priorities in addition to profit, not that he is anti-money. If you meant to respond to the guy that is actually saying that the money alone could be the problem, perhaps you should move your post.


> And his passion is in game dev, not an oddly specific passion for riding only the Flappy Bird app to success.

I think people here were assuming that his passion was entrepreneurship through game-dev. Because, you know, HN, entrepreneurs, etc. (But also because he did both things in order to ship this game, so it's just as probable he liked doing both of them. He could have given the game away for free, if he thought entrepreneurship was a hassle or something.)


>> Where is he turning his back on his passion?

one passion of many. he was passionate about Flappy Bird, and he is now removing it from the app store all together.

>> I also reject the idea that it was because of the money alone that he is taking the app down.

fair enough and i agree. i really just mean that generally, there are not very many good reasons to outright reject this kind of money.


His Dave Chappelle moment.


I never understood this mentality. Why not give it away? You know how awesome it would be to just walk up to a homeless person and hand them $100 bill? What about stopping by an orphanage and donating a couple grand? Use your skills to better the world.


I think it's about more than money for this guy


I respect his morals but the people over using the game are just going to move on to some other game and get addicted to it. If he feels bad about profiting from the game, he should donate it to a charity. That amount of money can do a lot of good.


And if a drug dealer decides to stop selling meth, you'd discourage him since addicts can just buy it down the block?

Note: I'm not saying Flappy Bird is like meth, but just pointing out your logic.


If meth were a liquid market with dealers lining up on every single street corner in the city to sell (and probably stocking it in grocery and convenience stores besides), then yeah, his stopping wouldn't really change the situation. His monetary loss from stopping sales will far outweigh whatever infinitesimal decrease there will be in the convenience of finding an addictive game on the iTunes app store.


This only holds if meth and playing flappy are on par in terms of damaging your life.


A good reason to turn down the money is that this is an unusual event, and may get people thinking. And we also have an unavoidable mechanism that is our conscience. I'm fairly sure that his decision will make him happier and more at peace with himself in the long run.


He's averaging $50K per day from in-app ads according to an interview with The Verge:

http://www.theverge.com/2014/2/5/5383708/flappy-bird-revenue...


He can let me take the heat for him. $40k a day is all I charge.


AND he's in Vietnam. Huge sum of money.


>AND he's in Vietnam. Huge sum of money.

It's a huge sum of money anywhere. But in Vietnam, you can hole yourself up in a nice hotel in the center of the city, eat out everyday and live lavishly for less than $2k a month.


I understand that he is probably wanting to get away from all the press coverage but I'm pretty sure this is not the right way to go about it. This might actually have the opposite effect. I had no intention of downloading it but knowing it is about to be removed, I'm going to download it.


He's really a PR genius. When he restores Flappy Bird to the app store next week, after a week of the media writing about how it was taken down abruptly, It'll blow up even more.


I suspect he'll lose out to duplicates.


When - if - he removes it from the app store, Clumsy Bird [insert clone here] will take over his sales momentum, and Flappy Bird will never be heard from again.


indeed , clumsy birds is coming close.


Possibly...and it's an excellent opportunity to raise the price.


Me, too. I just downloaded. I hadn't played it until the HTML5 clone showed up here.


Maybe that's what he wants to happen?


Never attribute to malice...


yea that may be the case too, although I would like to think otherwise :]


This kind of helped me relate to why he's taking it down: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gD-nzHy2DdU

I know it's a joke, but on the other hand, it's only funny because a lot of people identify with the sentiment.


This video has good comic component, but in reality I find bunch of other games way more frustrating. Getting all 3 stars in original Angry Birds is much more frustrating experience for me.

My theory is that is has to do with the goal - in Angry Birds you do bunch of actions and then learn the result, with the aim of completing very specific objective. Sometimes in the middle of the action sequence you already know that it's no good and you have to restart. In Flappy Birds it's simple, just keep doing it, failed, not a big deal, restart, you know you'll fail again.

I was playing it and thinking about zen-like qualities of the game and realized that this game would be completely genius if pipe layout would always be the same. Then zen experience would be complete.


So uhhh, now that he's out of the game can I make yet another SFCave clone and start making $50k/day then?


It's funny because I made an SFCave clone for the Xbox Indie marketplace back in 2009 when it looked like that store might not be totally awful. My girlfriend was playing Flappy Bird and I told her that it makes $50,000 a day and she said "Didn't you make a game like this already?"

Ah if only I had felt compelled to remake it for iPhones.


Good ole' sfcave. I've been playing that game since the palm pilot days. I remember upgrading my to a newer palm pilot and finding out that the game wasn't actually running full speed on my old greyscale palm. The android version is still fun.


Hah, yeah, I'm not sure if the game was timed properly or if it just ran as fast as your device could draw it.

Fucking loved that game. Android port is pretty good, but just not the same for some reason. Not as fast perhaps. Flappy Bird made me glad to see someone could do something nice with its formula still.


SFCave is all mined out. The next big thing is obviously Gorillas.


And here I was going to pile on with Scorched Earth until I looked up Gorillas...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Artillery_game

Maybe the market was just oblivious in the early 90s for not putting cute animals on top of all of these tropes sooner.

How long until we see roguelikes starring cats? RTSs where you draft little fuzzy lions and bears?


If this is a marketing trick, that's some next level shit. But I'm not suggesting that it is.


Well at least there'd be a next level to something then.


Wow. Did you just... You DID.


He seems to be a normal guy, not a PR genius. But, yeah, "The game with 50,000,000 downloads will be taken off the app stores in the next 22 hours" is brilliant.


It's the whole "next 22 hours" that's the kicker, he's explicitly warning his market that it will be an exclusive item.


"So much to do at Cartmanlaaaand.. But you can't come! eXpecially Stan and Kyle!"


PURE CONJECTURE:

I'm an app developer and have been approached about doing deals to make it to the top where they would take a share of the revenue (and/or) charge an upfront fee.

So he could be taking it down because he doesn't want to keep paying 10-50% of his profits to some other company, when he realizes he can probably get another app to the top with his existing fame and userbase.

Would make a lot more sense than his claimed reasons.


It also would help explain the app's jump out of nowhere 6 months after release.


If this is because of harassment then I feel really bad for him. The game may be super simple and silly but it shouldn't be ridiculed by those who are jealous of its luck and success.

My personal score is 102 and I appreciate the game for what it is.


There was a Polygon article on HN recently about how the audience has no idea what it wants. It used Flappy Bird as the example, mentioning how it was an overnight success, but repeatedly slammed it:

"Not only is the visual language of Flappy Bird almost entirely re-appropriated from early NES games, but it seems to be engineered and designed by someone still learning how to create games. There are frequent slowdowns and animation glitches in the Android version but, more importantly, Flappy Bird has absolutely no sense of what indie game developers call "feel."

The hitboxes are ridiculously large, which is the source of much of the game’s difficulty. The flapping mechanic, while serviceable, is entirely ordinary. It looks and feels like a game design student's first project in their intro to programming class."

In other words: "Well, this product is a turd, but it look how many idiots are buying it!" If that was your pet project, how would you feel? Imagine if every news article covering your game did so by giving you backhand compliments. It would crush you very, very quickly.


That's bad journalism, of course. If people are buying something in droves, and classical analysis suggests that that should be impossible, then there's something wrong with the analysis. A proper article would start with what we know -- "people love this game" -- and then try to figure out why.

You see the same backwards approach to journalism everywhere there's a scale in how much work things take to produce. Critics appreciate things with a complex process behind them. People, meanwhile, value mostly nostalgia and super-stimuli.

The wine most popular in blind taste-tests of people who haven't developed a "palate" for wine, is basically equivalent to grape juice with some vodka dumped into it. This isn't a bad thing! But critics hate it, because there's nothing to talk about there. It's grapey, and it's alcoholic, and that's all people really want. Until, that is, they're immersed into the whole culture of oaky this and tannins that, and start thinking about what went into the wine instead of just whether they want to drink a lot of it.

And because of this, critics generally don't serve the people. People want to find the best-tasting grapey alcohol. Critics, meanwhile, just want to talk about how long something aged in a barrel, and don't even have words to differentiate grapey alcohols.


That isn't how Polygon works. They and their writers absolutely despise their readers and gamers, in general.


Agreed. I think many people (myself included, probably) aren't equipped to deal with constant streams of criticism and abuse.

It's a shame the internet had to react this way. The guy seems really humble and deserving of the success. But I think he chose happiness over the money, and I think that speaks of great integrity.


A good point. The gamer crowd is the most self-entitled, abusive audience of all. A popular game is going to receive plenty of trollish abuse if it doesn't run perfectly, the abuse running up to and including threats of rape and death.


Good point, I read that article before trying the game thus never realised how insulting the author was. And he's a drama queen about the hitbox. The game is smooth on my 1½ years old S3 (FWIW).


The game's physics, visuals and sound actually seem to be thoughtfully designed. It has an open yet secluded feel that can be compared to Minecraft or other historically successful games.


Very true. Also, it's SNES games. Not NES games.


The owner is pretty vague about it on twitter, but I'm pretty sure they're taking it down due to how it effects their quality of life:

https://twitter.com/dongatory/status/432095426854912000


Sounds like he made a mistake and is paying for it now. If he really wanted a simple life, he should not have published a game under his own name.


It's a big pain in the ass to register an App Store account as a company vs as an individual. Especially if it's something as small and casual as this.


It may be a pain, but the game is generating a lot of attention and money. The prudent choice would be to release the app under a company's name. You can't have your cake and eat it too.


It became popular after the fact. He wasn't expecting to become this popular by a long shot. By the time he was starting to get popular, it was too late.


There are lessons to be learned from this phenomenon in all fields (marketing, game dev, PR, etc...)

One thing I can empathize, and suspect is the root of this, is that as a young developer I'm sure he's scared out of his mind of legal repercussions. It's not easy scraping pennies one day, and then the next day checking your bank account and seeing money in there that you feel you didnt work for. It doesnt feel legal.

At the very least, I'm sure that weighs heavy on his mind.


See, it is not like that. Even if he was selling the game he would have to wait for at least a month for Apple to pay. And since this is advertising, it can take a lot longer. Also, he can have problems getting the money into Vietnam or wherever he is. He may get a large US cheque, which will be a huge pain to cash.


You fail so many times that it shows so much ads, I don't know how ad payment work, but it must be profitable. Does not make sense to shut down because of some haters.


Polygon reported the game to make $50'000/day from those ads. The developer seems to have a mental breakdown and should probably go offline for a day or two.


It's hard to imagine a reason to even think about taking it down and seeing its poor command of the language it looks like we'll never know. If I had to guess, I'd say it's because he's a lone developer, too much to handle for one guy.


Accidental product success, followed by accidental PR success. Half of HN would kill for this kind of luck, and this poor guy doesn't want it... Which makes it even more interesting!


I dont think its a PR tactic or anything. They guy just doesnt care for money or popularity it seems, for whatever reason. Just let him be and move on internet...


Maybe it's a PR tactic to get everyone who doesn't have it yet to download it?


Maybe he's more brilliant than we've given him credit for. Possible scenario is that he's received take downs for prior art, name infringement or whatever. Instead of fighting it and waiting for Apple and Google to do it he says he's taking it down, driving popularity while doubling or tripling his ad impressions for a couple days


If he really couldn't take it anymore, and really wanted out of the game, he would have taken it down without any fanfare and gone off the grid completely.

By announcing it, though, he's drawing an incredible amount of attention to the game which leads me to believe this was the intended effect. Heck, it made me download it as I've never played it before.

Genius move.


that's probably the thing. Just think about what it is like to suddenly find yourself as a public known non-government guy in a socialist, underdeveloped country obviously owning a million bucks. D'oh. I bet he's been stalked a lot last days.


This is a great opportunity for someone to make a (good) clone of this game and clean up!


But this game's concept has been around since forever already, also on other app store titles, so... idk.


Good point. I guess, on a very ground level view, all game concepts have more or less been around for years. It would be an interesting study of why this one went so big when so many others didn't.

Also, I was thinking of more of a blatant rip off. I'd imagine those rip offs that are already out there are going to see a spike in downloads in the next couple days when people go to find this game and it isn't there.


Taking down the game tomorrow isn't going to stop the flow of ad income from already-installed copies.. plus, generates a rush of people downloading "before it's gone". Genius.


Twitter is such a shit platform to convey ideas and motivations.


You know, that idea you just expressed fits nicely into 140 characters.


I should claim that that was my point, and that I was trying to be satirical.

However, the truth is that for discussing motivations and explaining things, such as Flappy Bird's demise, it really is not the ideal way to convey a message. Nuance and detail are gone on Twitter... and to your point, I was initially downvoted for my comment, presumably because I didn't give sufficient contribution to the converstaion.


I totally agree with you. I just couldn't resist the irony.

Twitter seems best for short-form humor and food-truck locating.


This guy lives in Vietnam? I would be seriously worried about my own safety if I were him. Coming out and doing that interview was a bad idea. Believe me, you don't want to be known as a rich person in a country like Vietnam.

People will jump in front of your moped just to extort some money from you. Everyone, including the police are crooked. In fact, I would be more worried about the police arresting the guy under some false pretense to extort some pocket money.


Dry your tears with the money, dude! Rake it in while you can!


Money doesn't always dry tears, especially if he is going through a semi mental breakdown.


I wonder if he thinks all the "negative" reviews are serious feedback. He is from a different culture and humor almost never translates well.


I hope he reverts on this decision and keeps the game up. I am not a fan of it, but I can appreciate his success.


Everybody as an internal thermometer on how comfortable they are with success.

If you're too low ("I know I can do better than this!"), you work until you reach your temperature.

If you're too high, you self sabotage yourself until you are back to your level.

Case in point, removing your multi million dollar game from circulation.


Some context would be nice. I have no idea who this guy is (or Flappy Bird) and why we should care.


Flappy Bird is a silly game in which you tap on the screen of your touch device to nagivate a (duck?) through a series of narrow paths delineated by tubes sprouting from the sky and ground. In the tradition of older 8 bit video games it's extremely unforgiving one mistake and you have to start over. It's apparently been a big hit. In regard to who the guy is, he is the developer of that silly game which he did for fun part time, it's blown up and he is tired of people harassing him. As to why people should care? I leave that as an exercise for the reader.


I don't get it.

Why did he get harassed?

Because he made money?


Lots of people saying it's symptomatic of everything that's wrong with casual gaming, ad-supported gaming, and general timewasting.

I have the impression the author saw it as a marker on the path to making more high quality games, and is horrified by the idea of becoming the CEO of Flappy Bird Inc., much as the creators of novelty songs that become one-hit wonders end up being permanently associated with something stupid that was done for a joke and/or a quick buck.

Also, I see a significant social stigma in Vietnam to exploiting 'that stupid game my kid is wasting all his time on.'


Every creator gets harassed these days, to varying degrees. You can create the most sublime and enthralling game in history and people will still complain about it. It's even worse if you create a simple game that is frustratingly difficult. The culture of entitlement and harassment is one of the worst aspects of the internet today.


He got harassed because the game looks like it didn't take much work, and it's more popular than people think it deserves to be.


Damn this is my dream, make a simple app with little effort, make millions.


This is a loose HTML5 clone http://uralozden.com/flappy/


[deleted]


This behavior is disgusting in ways I cannot begin to describe. You didn't even attempt to do anything helpful, and probably didn't even read the post you responded to. To others: don't waste your time clicking on this link, it's just an obfuscated link to lmgtfy.com


I'd call it lazy or boorish. Disgusting is not the right word. Unhelpful, yes. Disgusting, no.


Get over yourself.

The commenter should have just googled it if they wanted context. You are disgusting.


I'm noticing a trend recently of accounts created seemingly for the sole purpose of insulting a specific post / comment, and it's beginning to seriously irritate me. Does anyone know why this seems to be on the rise, and if there's anything that can be done to stop it?

(if you're not actually such an account, then sorry for falsely accusing you, but my irritation at the trend in general still stands).


I don't think I've ever seen a post get downvoted so hard that it's actually invisible. Severely faded, yes.


I was explaining to my kids he other day this great silly game and they already knew what it was. The first thing they said was people play that all the time at school. The top reviews are "tounge in cheek" to the addictiveness of the game.


Well, this is great news for anyone who's trying to clone the game.



http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/save-flappy-bird sign the petition to save Flappy Bird


Where is this $50K per day coming from? If he has given this information to public, what was he expecting? Especially living in a country where people makes $150 per month.


If he hates the game so much, why did he release version 1.2 on the 7th Feb (two days ago!) with a new title screen, new UI, "new birds" and new backgrounds?


He released 1.2 at least 7 days ago, given app review times.


what are the chances that his twitter account was hacked?


Now even more people are going to rush to the App store and download the game today before the app is taken down.. assuming that would really happen.


There are at least 30 million users on Flappy Bird (users that have played at least once and have a gamecenter account.


The thing is - if he didn't care about the money, couldn't he just release an update without the ads?


I don't think money is his problem. He got an Apple product to code his app. That costs him something.


This never works out the way the vanishers expect it to. The media won't let it.


It looks like a joke. I couldn't find any meaningful explanation for it.



How about someone acq-hired him? :)


Any chance this is a PR stunt?


Clones in 3...2...1...


Because Internet.




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