Flappy Bird creator takes down game

Monday, Feb 10, 2014 14:57

Vietnamese-made Flappy Bird Game is over. — Photo tuaw.com

HA NOI (Biz Hub) — Popular mobile game Flappy Bird was taken down from online stores early Sunday morning after its Vietnamese creator Nguyen Ha Dong said that it was ruining his simple life.

Dong announced his plan to remove the game via social media site Twitter. He said, "It's not anything related to legal issues. I just cannot keep it anymore. I am sorry Flappy Bird users. Twenty-two hours from now, I will take Flappy Bird down. I cannot take this anymore."

The game had made its way to the top 10 of the App Store and Google Play Store charts during the last month. With 50 million and over 10 million downloads from the Apple Store and Google Play Store as of February 6 respectively, the app was also raking in some US$50,000 daily from in-app ads for its Vietnamese developer who lives in Ha Noi.

Director of ePi Technologies Nguyen Anh Tuan said to cafef.vn that Dong's decision was intelligent and proper.

"IT guys always have a simple and closed life. They only want to focus on working for their passion. In recent times, it had become obvious that the media had affected the creator's life negatively. The removal of the game will minimise such pressures," said Tuan.

Both the domestic and foreign media ran the story. One newspaper said the creator was worried about the possibility of facing lawsuits for "violating copyright" or for "cheating" to increase the number of downloads.

Many famous newspapers such as USA Today, Forbes, Huffington Post, CNET News, The Independent, Guardian and websites such as TechCrunch reported Dong's announcement. One newspaper had questioned whether Dong did not suffer pressures that result from a rapid rise to fame.

Quite a few social media users ridiculed a finance ministry official who asked tax officials to ensure that there's no loss of revenue as well as ensure fair play to the other tax payers.

In interviews with VietnamPlus.vn, many IT experts said the success terms of downloads or revenue of Flappy Bird is a proud moment for Viet Nam's appliance sector. They said it would also encourage domestic businesses to invest further in developing appliances to conquer the world market.

However, a number of newspapers and online pages see Dong being used as bait. Many foreign newspapers analysed the case in moderation, while a few domestic ones were hasty in including opinions by several foreign writers about the possibility of lawsuits or doubts about copyright violations.

When it was reported that Dong was making as much as $50,000 a day from the game's advertising revenue, the pride over a Vietnamese product seemed to turn into envy. Dong became a victim being hunted by several reporters. They watched his house, questioned his parents and asked his neighbors if they knew that a moneymaker was living next to them.

The game may be ‘over' but many users have downloaded the game already.

Director Tuan said the removal of Flappy Bird from online stores has not affected its advertising revenue as the users have downloaded it, even as the related troubles would end.

"Flappy Bird will disappear if all users delete it or do not play it any more. This could occur in the next months but surely not now," said Tuan. — VNS

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