What was the deal with Flappy Bird?
3 years ago
Tom Baker Quib.ly Staff Writer Derby, UK
Ah, Flappy Bird. Like the legend of Icarus, your brief flight was a beautiful one; yet, you soared too close to the sun, and so you came crashing down (off the iTunes store) in a blaze of glory. Too soon. Also, what is up with that game? Why are people paying up to $100,000 for a phone that still has it installed? Why was it earning its creator almost that much in revenue every day? What's the deal?
Let's start at the beginning, shall we? Like many popular smartphone games – or, really, any internet phenomena as a whole – it's hard to trace when and here the game got popular, or even why. It's a pretty simple little game, where you prod at the screen make the titular bird dodge obstacles that look... kinda familiar. That's it. It wasn't even a particularly good game, by all accounts, and fiendishly difficult. Plus it was riddled with in-game adds and other banes of Candy Crush Saga player's existences. Despite all that, it earned its developer some $50,000 a day in revenue from said ads in the few weeks of its existence. That's how many people were playing it. At last count, it had been downloaded a whopping 50 million times.
Then, all of a sudden, the game disappeared, before people had even had a chance to get their head around it. Was it all a big joke? Was it just a fad? Was it some sort of modern art piece? In the end, it was just a game, and one that creator Dong Nguyen said was 'too addictive' for him to leave up for any longer (if only all smartphone app developers were so self-aware). Even with the spate of copycat games looking to fill the void, we're still no closer to figuring out why the original Flappy Bird caused such a... well, flap.
Were your kids Flappy Bird 'addicts'? Have you got any insight into what make it so popular? Please help!