Flappy Bird's journey from obscurity to fame and ultimate demise

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Flappy Bird's journey from obscurity to fame and ultimate demise
Flappy Bird, the mobile gaming sensation, has been snatched out of the air. After its controversial and incredible success, and surprising withdrawal from app stores, we take a look at the hit game's rise and fall.

1) RIP Flappy Bird

On February 9, Flappy Bird was removed from both the Google Play store and Apple iTunes App Store. A day before, developer Don Nguyen said he would be taking down the smash hit game from both the stores. Nguyen tweeted: "I am sorry 'Flappy Bird' users, 22 hours from now, I will take 'Flappy Bird' down. I cannot take this anymore... It is not anything related to legal issues. I just cannot keep it any more... I also don't sell 'Flappy Bird', please don't ask... And I still make games."

2) Why was it taken down?

Though there's no word from Nguyen explaining his decision, some believe the developer took the decision after he received a lot of hate mail following the game's success. Others suspect that Nintendo may have taken legal action due to use of copied art work, though Nguyen's tweets ruled out legal action.

3) What was Flappy Bird?

Flappy Birds was a retro-style side-scroller mobile game that debuted on iOS in May 2013. The barebones game was created by Nguyen, the budding Vietnamese developer. The game's premise is simple - the player has to navigate the bird through a series of gaps between vertical pipe-shaped obstacles, rising up and down by tapping the screen to flap the bird's wings.

4) Rise to fame

The game seemingly led an obscure life for months before leading the iTunes App Store free app charts for much of January 2014, and success followed on Google Play store soon after. Developer Nguyen said he was earning up to $50,000 per day via in-app ads. The game was announced for the Windows Phone platform on February 4, with the Nguyen saying he estimated it would be approved by Microsoft in ten days.

5) Reasons behind popularity

Players say the free app is highly addictive, being challenged to set a high-score on a global leaderboard. There are no lives, or in-app purchases in Flappy Bird, and players get a single point for each pair of pipes they fly through, and medals after every ten points all the way up to platinum.

6) Controversial success

Flappy Bird enjoyed controversial success, with critics decrying its crude graphics and physics, poorly placed banner ads, and obvious artwork theft from Nintendo's Super Mario Bros, a classic platformer game.
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