UPDATE: As of Sunday afternoon, Flappy Bird has indeed been removed from the Apple App Store and Android’s Google Play Store. Those who downloaded Flappy Bird before Sunday can still play the game, but no newcomers will be able to download Flappy Bird, unless creator Dong Nguyen has a change of heart and uploads it anew into the app stores of Apple and Google.
Flappy Bird, the phenom game of the last few weeks, may be making its creator rich, but it is not making him happy. So he’s taking the game off the App Store.
Dong Nguyen from Vietnam announced in a tweet on Saturday:
I am sorry ‘Flappy Bird’ users, 22 hours from now, I will take ‘Flappy Bird’ down. I cannot take this anymore.— Dong Nguyen (@dongatory)Feb. 8, 2014
It’s not clear what Nguyen cannot take. He may be referring to the widespread criticism of the game’s simple but nearly impossible mechanics, the press attention he’s gotten, or perhaps some other outside impingement. A further tweet indicates that the reason is not legal, even if Nguyen’s English does leave some room for interpretation: “It is not anything related to legal issues. I just cannot keep it anymore.”
Further tweets indicate that he is not selling Flappy Bird off, and that he will also continue to make new games.
Nguyen told The Verge that he was netting $50,000 a day from in-game advertising revenue, fueling curiosity and speculation about the reason for his decision to turn off that revenue stream.
In a tweet on Feb. 4, he wrote, “Press people are overrating the success of my games. It is something I never want. Please give me peace.”
If you don’t have Flappy Bird yet, hurry to the App Store and download the game for your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch. You have until noon Eastern time on Sunday, Feb. 9, based on the time Nguyen posted his notice.
Once you have the app, you should be able to continue to play it as long as it’s on your device. When apps are deleted from the App Store, they do not get erased from devices.
An app that relies on networked services to function could stop working if the services are turned off, but as far as we know all Flappy Bird draws from the Net are advertisements from a third party and a leaderboard (top scores) from Apple’s Game Center. The game should keep working. So if you’re addicted to Flappy Bird, there’s little danger you’ll have to go cold turkey Sunday.
As far as we know, this is the end of the road for this amateurish and oddly popular game. Unless, perhaps, Nguyen has signed a movie deal based on it.
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