Mobile gamers were shocked when they learned that Vietnam-based mobile game developer Dong Nguyen has pulled down hit game Flappy Bird from Google Play and App Store.
Now the game has officially been taken down and it remains only with people who had installed it before it was pulled down.
Here we give a timeline of this notoriously difficult yet exciting Flappy Bird, and also the highs and lows of the game.
- 6 November 2012 - The early form of Flappy Bird began to evolve. Check this tweet from the developer.
- 29 April 2013 - Nguyen posted the screengrab of the new game called Flap Flap. He also said he had made the game in two days.
- After a month, he realises and acknowledges with a tweet that there is another app with the name Flap Flap, so he renames it to Flappy Bird.
The Release for iOS
- Flappy Bird released on 24 February 2013 for iTunes stores. Nguyen tweeted: "Flappy Bird is out now!" along with his high score of 44.
- In September 2013, he releases the game's first update that fixes bugs and iOS gets a new icon.
- By October 2013 the game entered the popular Family Games in App store (via Mashable).
- By November 2013 it reportedly earned only 20 reviews.
- On 11 December 2013 he tweeted: "It will be on Google Play soon."
- Over the course of time Nguyen retweeted Twitter users saying the game has taken over my life, taken away my ability to study, and it's such a waste of time but I still keep coming back.
- By 13 December 2013, it had broken into the top 250 for free apps in the US and was 14 in Family Games.
- By 10 January 2014, the game was on the top ten US free apps.
- 13 January 2014, he was asked by other developers if he had promoted his game and how? He replied: "I don't do promotion."
- 18 January 2014, he tweets saying "My 'Flappy Bird' for Android is coming on Monday next week. It's an updated version of the iOS one." This day also marked Flappy Bird topping the free app chart in US and standing at number one position.
The Release for Android
- 22 January 2014, Nguyen tweets: "I just uploaded 'Flappy Bird' to Google Play store. Sorry for the wait." And by next day he posted the link of the game appearing in Google Play.
- What happened after this is history, the media started taking not of the game and, within a week of its release on Google Play, it was the most downloaded app. Kotaku and Buzzfeed were the first to be surprised that the app was so successful.
- As media coverage increased, the simple game gathered steam as more people started to download.
- By 1 February, the game was the number one game in 53 different countries in the iTunes App Store.
- On 6 February, Apple too had to acknowledge the game on its success, it tweeted, "We got to 99. What's your high score?"
- Though Nguyen did not like to give interviews, he gave a couple of them, one for game blog Chocolate Lab Apps and TechCrunch. In both these interviews he maintained that the popularity of the game was due to luck. (See also: Flappy Bird: The New Gaming Sensation, Everything You Want to Know)
- He also had to do lot of clarifying, as he was asked if he promoted the games and added cross-promoting. He was also asked about making the game $0.99 and removing the ads. To all these he had only one answer: "No". He also had to clarify that there were no official fan pages of his game.
- Nguyen was getting bombarded by the media especially the US, here is an instance (4 February 2014) - a reporter from Newsweek, wanted to contact Nguyen, which was flatly rejected. He tweeted, "I think press should give my game some peace. Its success is really overrate! I'm sorry, I refuse to answer questions." He further clarified that if it was fake app would Apple keep it for so many months.
- It was revealed in The Verge that Nguyen was making $50,000 a day in ad revenue, this increased the retaliation against him, he was asked of getting death threats and he took it in good humor saying "few hundreds". He also added that things are going out of control and he cannot deal with haters anymore.
- The press in a way became his enemy as it was continuously scrutinizing his game. He tweeted: "And press is gonna say I'm counting the money."
Coming Close to End
- He kept saying that he was overloaded with work and could not take it. On 7 February, he apologized for his inability to make Windows Phone version of the game. (See Also: Flappy Bird Cheats: Tips on How to Get High Score; Hack Codes for iOS and Android Devices)
- On 8 February, an update was added to Flappy Bird that made the game easier. However, some players did not like it and he had to listen to more haters.
- The game also raised hoax stories of a brother killing his younger one for scoring higher than him. (See Also: Chicago Teen Stabs Older Brother 17 Times after Fight Over Flappy Bird High Score - Hoax)
- After the update however, Nguyen seemed more dejected and said that the game has ruined his simple life and he hates it and also accused that people are "overusing" the game on 8 February.
- He had also hinted on a sequel to the game. He also said that indie games require more opportunities.
- On 8 February he shocked the world with the stunning pronouncement that Flappy Bird will be flappying away for good from all Android and iPhone Stores. He tweeted, "I am sorry 'Flappy Bird' users, 22 hours from now, I will take 'Flappy Bird' down. I cannot take this anymore." (See Also: Flappy Bird Will be Removed from iOS and Android Stores, says Creator)
- On 9 February, he clarified that the removal has nothing to do with legal issues or he is not going to sell it. He also confirmed that he will continue making games.
- On 10 February, the ill-fated day when the popular and successful game was pulled down from Google Play and iTunes App Store. (See Also: Flappy Bird: Vanishes from Google Play and iTunes Stores, 5 Alternative Games)
- Following this there were numerous hoaxes that he was killed or committed suicide. There was also a suggestion that it was a publicity stunt but it was not as Nguyen remained true to his words and would not resuscitate the game.
Return of the Flappy Bird Clones
- However, this did not stop from other developers cashing in on the game and creating similar games, also known as clones. (See Also: Flappy Bird Clones: Top 25 List of Similar Games)
- Some others started to sell their used phones with the pre-installed Flappy Bird at outrageous prices on eBay.
- The game was downloaded at least 50 million times and generated 16 million tweets.
Post Flappy Bird Pull Out
- Nguyen has gone off the radar, and is not active on Twitter either.
- On 11 February, Nguyen, spoke to Forbes, where he explained that the game was making users addictive, and that was the main reason for him to pull it out. (See Also: Flappy Bird Creator Speaks Up, Addictiveness the reason for its Removal)