updated 04:18 pm EST, Sun February 9, 2014
Reasons behind removal of popular free-to-play game are unclear
The developer of a wildly-successful game has pulled the app from both the iOS App Store and Google Play. Vietnamese developer Dong Nguyen, the creator of Flappy Bird and sole employee of .Gears, made the decision to remove the game from availability, posting about its imminent shutdown on Twitter 22 hours beforehand, though it is still unclear exactly why Nguyen has taken this course of action.
Flappy Bird features a small bird flying from left to right, with the user's tapping giving the bird a brief vertical boost. Players have to keep the bird flying in the difficult game, scoring points for each pair of Mario-inspired pipe gates the bird passes through without crashing. Despite the apparent difficulty of the game, it managed to accumulate more than 50 million downloads and over 47,000 App Store reviews. In an interview with The Verge, Nguyen revealed it had earned an average of $50,000 per day from its in-app advertisements.
The decision to remove Flappy Bird from the stores is unknown, though Nguyen's Twitter account does offer a few clues. In his warning of its removal, Nguyen advised it was not down to legal issues, nor the sale of the app to another developer. One potential reason could be from its sudden success and the resulting fame and criticism it caused, with Nguyen stating that, while it is a success, "it also ruins my simple life. So now I hate it," and later claiming "I cannot take this anymore."