Flappy Bird, we hardly knew ye. It’s been a short, strange ride. The simple one-touch game made by the solo Vietnamese developer Dong Nguyen originally hit the App Store in May of last year. Seemingly out of the blue, it started picking up steam in late January and catapulted to the number one spot on the Top Free Games list on the App Store, where it remained until yesterday.
With a surge of popularity, of course, comes a whole lot of attention from gamers and the press, both positive and negative. The wave of publicity only increased when Nguyen told The Verge that Flappy Bird was bringing in $50,000 a day in ad revenue.
The attention became too much for Mr. Nguyen. In a series of tweets, he talked about his ambivalence toward his newfound fame, and eventually expressed regret over releasing Flappy Bird in the first place.
I can call 'Flappy Bird' is a success of mine. But it also ruins my simple life. So now I hate it.
— Dong Nguyen (@dongatory) February 8, 2014
Over the weekend, Nguyen announced that he would pull Flappy Bird from the App Store on Sunday, which he did.
It wasn’t a great game. It might not even be a good one. But something about Flappy Bird struck a nerve with the public. Its enormous success may forever remain a mystery. But it goes to show that fame is not for everyone, even if it comes with life-changing riches.