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back to article Gamers in a flap as Vietnamese dev pulls Flappy Bird

The Vietnamese developer of hugely popular smartphone game Flappy Bird hit the self-destruct button on the title over the weekend after complaining that it had ruined his life. In a message that has now been retweeted over 135,000 times, Hanoi-based Dong Nguyen wrote in a Twitter post on Saturday: “I am sorry 'Flappy Bird' users …

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I can see where the guy is coming from. Even extraordinarily minor celebrity - being known by a few thousand people, which I have experience with - can get creepy, and that's when it's expected and intended. But something like he's had happen, if it wasn't actually a goal? That could easily get brutal.

I think that people still tend to think that success and resources are simultaneous, but the latter can often perilously lag the former; being in the position of a lone guy who's suddenly expected to have PR, media savvy, and the development quality of the organizations that are normally making multi-million user games has got to be nerve wracking. And I'm willing to bet that a lot of people (say, those who are criticizing the game for being derivative) are judging his product as if it was made with resources and intentions that he never had.

On the bright side for fans, I've already noticed a gaggle of low-rent knock-offs slithering out of the woodwork; no doubt we'll soon be awash in "flappy candy bird story saga" clones to which we can unwittingly deliver our personal data to our hearts' content.

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Must have been those $50,000 a day

I hear a man can be crushed under the pressure of making so much money.

Not that I'd know it myself, mind.

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Re: Must have been those $50,000 a day

Living in Vietnam, after a week of making $50K a day he's probably made more than he could spend in his life. Unless he changes to a western lifestyle.

His email box was probably filled with 95% hate mail from people complaining about how hard the game was and how much time they've wasted on it and 5% scumbags trying to take his money.

A cynical westerner like you and I would just change our email address and be unaffected by all that, but that doesn't mean everyone could blithely assume everyone with a mother needing an operation is a scammer.

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Meh

Re: Must have been those $50,000 a day

Dave Chapelle described what it was like when he went from obscurity to having $20M in the bank. The analogy he used was when Elmer Fudd would look at Bugs Bunny and all he would see was a side of meat. Dave described people he thought were friends as cold, demeaning, and demanding. He was rich and constantly under personal assault when he suddenly couldn't take it anymore and ran away to Africa.

Money doesn't change you, it changes the people around you.

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[Spolier Alert:]

The Pearl by John Steinbeck reaches much the same conclusion.

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Re: Must have been those $50,000 a day

Not that I am a fan, but I remember Mariah Carey saying something similar in an interview. She said when she had made a few million dollars from her records, she realised that a lot of her friends had changed, even those she thought she knew well. She suddenly found that very few of them were absolutely 100% trustworthy. A feeling which I think, even if I was that wealthy, would make me very lonely.

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I don't have any friends.

Anyone want to sponsor me to the tune of £000s a week to prove that money doesn't have to make you miserable?

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Pint

Hey don't shoot me

I can see him trying to flap out of the tripods and shattering.

I'd prefer not knowing (ignoring) the real story behind as this is already perfect enough.

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JDX
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"an open source remake"

Because ripping someone off is OK if you make it open-source?

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Re: "an open source remake"

It was hardly a new type of game to begin with. I remember a very simple helicopter game where you had to hold the mouse button down to keep it going up and let go for it to go down while avoiding obstacles and the terrain. Is this identical to that helicopter game? No but it's close enough. If it's ok for him then why is it not ok for others?

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Re: "an open source remake"

Is it OK to rip off Nintendo's art assets though?

Also, if he's not selling it anymore, how is he being ripped off?

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JDX
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Re: "an open source remake"

>>Is it OK to rip off Nintendo's art assets though?

Now what was that saying you were taught about two wrongs?

>>Also, if he's not selling it anymore, how is he being ripped off?

Indie game developers run into this all the time, wanting to use assets from old games. "EA doesn't sell this game anymore and I don't want to make money off it, so that's OK, right?" Nope.

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Re: "an open source remake"

Because ripping someone off is OK if you make it open-source?

>Implying that Angry Birds, was ever in any possibly conceivable way original.... TOP KEK

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Re: "an open source remake"

"Is it OK to rip off Nintendo's art assets though?"

"Also, if he's not selling it anymore, how is he being ripped off?"

I've seen it happen before. Some company goes bust, someone else tries to come in with a replacement product, and the bust company magically comes back to life claiming ownership.

Too much money is *NEVER* the reason anyone goes bust.

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Re: "an open source remake"

And the MS troll now goes "Intellectual Property Troll". Weee!!!

Copyright is intended to protect works for a limited amount of time, but thanks to Disney it now extends beyond the creator's lifetime thus the "limited" part being defeated. Companies keeping copyright on works no longer published, sold or distributed by them are defeating the purpose of copyright and don't deserve to have those "copy rights" enforced.

At least some companies have relented and instead of going copyright trolling, they've either relaxed their stance on stuff like this, or have even re-released the older games for sale.

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Anonymous Coward

Phones don't use mice.

> I remember a very simple helicopter game where you had to hold the mouse button down to keep it going

Now I understand what makes the game so difficult.

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Anonymous Coward

So the decission to take it down was nothing to do with the fact many were speculating the $50,000 a day was largely being generated by bot traffic... A case of quit while your ahead maybe??

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Bot traffic?

In an iPhone game? I'd love to hear you justify spreading that rumour.

Non-legit ad revenue gets recalled whether or not the recipient is in business at the time, so quitting has no effect. And don't think we didn't notice your "fact.... speculating" contrivance, either. This sort of intentional nastiness is surely the guy's reason for getting out.

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Jealousy

Yup, lots of very jealous people out there.

None of them ever just come out and say they are jealous though.

Instead they wrap it in a flag of morality (nobody should ever make $50k a day for 2 days of effort) or by spreading malicious rumours (bot traffic).

Leave the guy alone and rather than generating more vitriol, put your energy into doing something yourself.

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Coat

I won't miss flappy birds

I uninstalled it... stupid game.

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Flappy bird in Blender

It's sad this commercial success did not translate in greater happyness for its creator. Nobody will begrudge a small developer hitting it big. Too bad in this case it had an adverse effect.

Here's someone who creates a Flappy Bird knockoff in Blender's much maligned Game Engine:

http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Blendernation/~3/7c1av9mP0Us/

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Re: Flappy bird in Blender

"Nobody will begrudge a small developer hitting it big."

Welcome to the internet -- you're new round here aren't you...?

Heck, welcome, intergalactic traveller, to the Planet Earth. May I introduce you to the dominant species on this planet, "humanity"?

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47

I'm on 47 so far. It's my current 10 AM lavatory break entertainment.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: 47

Nice healthy bowel. Respeck

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Gamer's rights

It's very noticeable that installing an app for free, or costing pennies seems to grant the installer the right to slag off the developer, berate them for not adding features and get angry (properly angry) when it doesn't behave exactly as expected. It's even worse if the installer thinks that the developer is (gasp!) making money from it.

If he's been making $50,000 a day, that is a LOT of messages from people who feel they are entitled to a triple-A experience tailored to their exact playing style.

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JDX
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Re: Gamer's rights

So you reckon he should've changed it to cost $5?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Gamer's rights

OH MY GOD JDX YOU ARE SO WITTY!!!!

Happy? Now fuck off for a while.

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Thumb Up

ZX81.....

Have to say I much prefer Quack! on the ZX81, all done in 8.5k

http://www.bobs-stuff.co.uk/quack.html

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So many great iPhone games

There are so many genuinely great original iPhone games such as the superb Magnetic Billiards that I wonder how games such as Flappy Birds become such hits while the good stuff goes relatively unnoticed.

Feel sure the Pickford Brothers or Jeff Minter would like a tenth of the attention/money that Flappy Birds has got!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: So many great iPhone games

"There are so many genuinely great original iPhone games such as the superb Magnetic Billiards that I wonder how games such as Flappy Birds become such hits while the good stuff goes relatively unnoticed."

Because "good stuff" is subjective.

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Re: So many great iPhone games

Recormendations engine. The popular games get promoted and become more popular. It's an unstable positive feedback system that can produce unpredictable results.

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I installed it on Saturday morning to fill the time on a train ride. Just in time it seems. Noticable was that it was small enough (a few hundred K IIRC) to do so over a mobile internet connection, and also that it required very few permissions. One I think, I forget which, probably internet connectivity for ads.

Having said that there appear to be no ads in the Android version.

It is damn hard though, I will probably uninstall it if I can't beat my score of 5 by the end of the week!

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I have seen a few people playing it on the Subway

And I remember thinking it looked like something you would type in from a magazine for an Apple II+ or a Commodore 64,

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Surely he's still making money?

All the existing users can still play the game. So if he was making $50k per day from them, he will continue to do so. He just won't make any more from new users.

Of course it'll die down in a few weeks anyway as people gradually stop playing. But he gets to stop a lot of hassle immediately, whilst still coining it in. Smart guy.

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Anonymous Coward

>Jeff Minter would like a tenth of the attention/money

...nah, he'd just blow it all on yaks and the like.

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Yaks?

Last I heard he kept sheep and llamas on his plot of land in Wales, but no yaks.

(Actually, I recall being told that yaks can't survive at low altitudes because the air pressure would kill them... I wonder if this is an urban myth...

...google...

Wikipedia says they "do not thrive at lower altitudes", so it's not instantly fatal, but also that they begin to suffer heat exhaustion at 15 degrees Celsius.)

(Goddammit... I need to get a job.)

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Coat

As you don't want the game anymore, can I have the source code?

I want to make a game to pay homage to the great American rockband "The Byrds".

I'd like to call it - Flappy Byrds.

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Re: Flappy Byrds

Will I be allowed to play it right away?

Or will I have to wait for my "Turn Turn Turn?"

Will paying it get me "Eight Miles High?"

Or will I have to leave a turn unstoned?

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Anonymous Coward

What a Dong.

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He coded it in a couple of days.

What took him so long?

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Re: He coded it in a couple of days.

It was finished in about 30 mins. The rest of the time was waiting for the android emulator to finish loading.

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Bad publicity?

No such thing as bad publicity.

I'd never heard of this, and if I had noticed it on the app store I would've thought it was an Angry Birds ripoff.

Now from the national media, I know the app, what it is about and who the developer is.

Not bad publicity at all!

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And the winning bid is...

Did anyone see the iphone on eBay with this installed? Auction's been pulled now, but last time I looked it was up to £6,000,000. Yup, I didn't make a mistake with the noughts, that's Six Million.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: And the winning bid is...

Wow, I wonder why they pulled the auction, they could have made a fortune ....

...

...

...

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Won't uninstall, help...

Hi all, I tried to uninstall Flappy Birds from my 5S but now it's saying "Error 0x80070079: The semaphore timeout period has expired" and I can no longer switch it off or get back to the home screen. In addition my ram is turning mauve. I've tried rebooting, I also switched it off and back on again and nothing seems to be working for me. Has anyone else experienced this and know how to fix it? Please help I'm absolutely at my wits end with this f^&%ing thing!!!!

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Re: Won't uninstall, help...

"In addition my ram is turning mauve."

I'd try penicillin for that

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Go

Re: Won't uninstall, help...

Heisenberg, apparently the best way to uninstall Flappy Bird is to sell your iPhone for £6,000,000 then buy a new one.

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Bronze badge

eh??

ok.. so I just installed it...

is the burd supposed to disappear when you tap, then you have to wait for it to reappear to know where it is ?

after 10 minutes my best score is 2.

man that is one shit game.

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Anonymous Coward

"Streisand effect" - I'd never heard of this guy until he pulled the app.

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