The recent mobile gaming sensation, Flappy Bird, which is now no longer available on the iTunes App Store and Google Play store, was removed by the developer because he thought users were getting addicted to it.
Dong Nguyen, the creator of Flappy Bird, in his first interview since the game has been removed from the app markets, told the Wall Street Journal: "It was just too addictive... That was the main negative. So I decided to take it down."
The game's controversial success apparently made Nguyen "extremely uncomfortable", and he is now said to be waiting for his life to return to normal. He added that with the game's success, he now has "more freedom and confidence to create more games."
Nguyen got his first clues for removing the game from the extensive comments given by reviewers on Apple's iTunes App Store. "I would, in a heartbeat, sell my soul to Satan just to have never downloaded this app," one reviewer wrote.
The game's popularity is said to be linked to its difficulty, with players 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. The 29-year old Nguyen added that till now, his best score is 150.
As a tribute, after the game was removed from the app stores, we also saw some users selling their iPhones, pre-loaded with Flappy Bird game, on eBay for as much as much as $100,000.
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."
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