099621_largerSince its removal from the App Store yesterday afternoon, the only thing that's more popular than opportunistic developers trying to get a whiff of Flappy Bird's leftover success is Flappy Bird conspiracy theories, with the proverbial conspiratorial Eye of Sauron shifting from how Flappy Bird got to #1 to why it was removed. Of course, like all things on the internet, Occam's Razor is rarely employed, and instead, theories ranging from the Vietnamese mafia to Nintendo bringing down the legal hammer and everything in between have been floated on nearly every game forum on the internet.

Well, per a report from the WSJ, Nintendo didn't have a problem with Flappy Bird:

In an email to The Wall Street Journal, Nintendo spokesman Yasuhiro Minagawa on Monday reiterated previous company statements that the Japanese videogame giant hasn’t complained at all about Flappy Bird’s similarities to Nintendo’s original “Super Mario Bros.”

“While we usually do not comment on the rumors and speculations, we have already denied the speculation” last week, he said.

Of course this doesn't disprove the crazier theories out there, but, it does totally back up Flappy Bird developer Dong Nguyen's tweet about how Flappy Bird's removal wasn't due to legal issues. Instead, it's starting to seem substantially more reasonable that Nguyen was telling the truth all along, in that the fame and fortune of the unbelievable success of Flappy Bird was complicating his life, and he didn't want anything to do with it.

[via WSJ]

  • paulf58

    Why would they? You all seemed to love Lep's World which was the biggest Mario ripoff on the App Store.

    • Kane

      I just updated LW 3. That game is Mario 🙂

      • paulf58

        Of course - my point being anyone who rags on this but supports the Mario and Pokemon clones should give their heads a shake. Or that BLATENT Zelda ripoff that got 5/5 here

      • fearlesskk

        Which zelda ripoff?

      • ZeroVoid


      • Wolfcoyote

        I'm currently doing some soul-searching because I bought Oceanhorn simply to play a Zelda game on my new iPad mini R. Usually I'd scream bloody murder every time someone releases a clone, but for some reason Oceanhorn was different. I don't know know why that game was an exception to my personal rule, but idk...

        Back on topic: something's off about the whole thing - didn't the dev complain about gaining too much fame a few days ago? Maybe the removal of the app was a play to avoid Nintendo discovering the app (especially since it allegedly imitates too much of the graphics)?

        In regard to Nintendo's response, either they a) didn't catch the game in the store in time to gain publicity by demanding it's removal, b) someone did, only the spokesman won't admit it (why should he, as the game has already been removed) or c) they chose to ignore the whole issue of FB being in the store because they feared negative publicity should they attack an indie dev (from the dismal sales of the Wii U they don't need the bad publicity).

  • repapermunky

    Shit, give me the Flappy Bird rights, I'll sell that and take all the fortune. I'll take that "load" off of you no problem.

    • DaQuieTruth

      Shoot, If I had it I would add upgrades and life saving items like in jet pack joyride.

  • ODMay

    Lol.... When did Nintendo take part in this drama? I'm lost. /:

    • ODMay

      Oh, nvm. ._.

    • TarePlays

      Because green tubes that's why

    • ikari_paul

      the art was ripped (=stolen) from super mario world

      • paulf58

        Except it wasn't, it just looks the same.

      • ikari_paul

        kotaku used the same expression, "ripped".
        even if they did not rip it straight from the rom, the art looks 99% the same, and falls into the same area: theft. its irrelevant want "you" consider plagiarism, this is definitely that

        comment section wont let me post a link, just google kotaku + flappy-bird-is-making-50-000-a-day-off-ripped-art-1517498140

  • tomas47

    There are many good games from small devs that should be mentioned there instead of this one! Lets look at last 5 toucharcade articles...4 are about flappy bird! This game is not even 3*! What is hoing on? Just stop...everybody know about this game...MOVE ON!

    • http://toucharcade.com Eli Hodapp

      Flappy Bird is quite literally the hottest thing going on right now in the iOS world. If it doesn't interest you, that's cool, but you're in the vast minority right now. Look the game up on Google Trends, it's skyrocketing like no iOS game ever has before... And it's not even on the App Store anymore.

      • ikari_paul

        but if you guys stopped talking about junk like this, then people would stop to care... maybe. this is certainly a great social experiment, for sure

      • http://toucharcade.com Eli Hodapp

        Local Chicago news reported on Flappy Bird. That's how wide interest in Flappy Bird is right now.

      • ikari_paul

        ...until next week, when the hot topic is kim kardashians new boobs. empty/disposable "news". that game is shitty, and in a way is proof that 99,9% of smartphone gamers in fact just play crap on their phones, and sites like this one just really speak to a small minority, unfortunately.

        kinda is the perfect example of why Nintendo should never abandon their own handheld format. They'd have to compete with that level of crap, at that pricepoint. actually, now im pretty happy that flappy bird existed

      • NinjaKitteh


        Flappy Bird really does just make Nintendo's point for them. People aren't interested in paying quality prices for quality games, well the majority doesn't. There is a small contingent of us but it's dwindling. I myself have slowly lost interest in iOS as a proper medium for games.

      • ikari_paul

        exactly. 99,9% of smartphone gamers really just play junk, disposable crap, and never pay any money, unless theyre tricked into IAP (due to being idiots or kids without any notion what VISA stands for)

        the rest is a small minority, that really is the only one keeping the smaller "premium" ios developers in business. Its far from being big business. please, anybody out there, please show me anyone who is making great profit from selling 5-20$ games! anyone?

        again, this flappy bird phenomenon will be my only answer to anybody saying nintendo should abandon their (very profitable) handheld in favour of this kind of audience.

      • Salt Abdullah

        You're right. If you're on TA, chances are you're a true iOS gamer who cares. The majority are just mouth-breathing, ham-'n-egger spawn who knuckle-drag and thump their feet wherever they go, leaving a trail of ooze and vomit. They play the crappiest games and demand everything be free. How the hell aren't we living in a communist f**king world?

      • Wolfcoyote

        Um...Foresaken Media?

      • Kugiro

        Agreed. They are my favorite developer for mobile gaming right now.

      • Salt Abdullah

        But this is how it's always been. Most people drive Hondas and Toyotas - because they're dirt cheap. People prefer McDonald's over a family restaurant and I could go on and on. China's empire has been built off of people wanting cheap.

      • Salt Abdullah

        TouchArcade, as much as I love the site is in the minority. If TA had the widespread power to "stop" a game like Flappy Bird from being successful then Eli'd be driving a Lambo. Just saying. TA is a site for gamers' gamers.

      • ikari_paul

        unfortunately true

        guess that people that really want to play games with any sort of gameplay are a small minority on smartphones

      • Salt Abdullah

        Yes, it's really a bell curve. Us TA users are outliers who buy games and don't mind exploring Indie games or spending good coin. Your regular gamer is a mouth-breather who has either a hand-me-down iPhone 4 or a $0 contract 4S and is looking for free games. There's nothing to it. Flappy Bird appeals to the lowest common denominator. But good on Nguyen - he's made it rich off of a game that was released in June 2013. So I ask you guys, is there another Flappy Bird just sitting in cryo on the App Store waiting to go viral? Or was this just a one and done phenomenon? We haven't heard the last of Dong

      • Edwin Ramirez

        Thanks to you guys mentioning the game 6-10 times a day.

  • damagex

    What a great publicity stunt ... the people playing it still have the game. I'll bet this caused a huge peak in downloads.

  • falco

    You know what ? you can just turn of wi-fi and play without ads, no money for the guy!!!!

    • http://toucharcade.com Eli Hodapp


      • NinjaKitteh

        Well, he obviously doesn't want all the attention so the money should be included in that. Falco's idea lets us comply with his wishes. So yeah, very classy of you Falco for helping Dong with what is has been asking for.

    • Alexythimia23

      Yours has to be the best comment on here lmao turn off wifi haha legen... Wait for it dary!! Haha if all the owners of crappy bird, sorry flappy bird did that, the next article would be " Dong is back!! And fully erect with flappy bird 2 - return of the iap's" you guys are too much always there to put a smile on my face with yer comments lmao

  • Yourplague

    I guess i missed the flappy bird rave, but to tell you the truth all the articles about it are getting annoying.Can we move on already, im dying to see some reviews about some quality games i can sink my teeth into.

    • Wolfcoyote

      I agree, the game is out of circulation, so it's time to move on. maybe to higher-quality games like Block Fortress War that'll be here next month, or at least FFVI.

  • funny_man_vanya

    I think it's pathetic how people are selling iPhones with flappy bird still installed on eBay for up to 100k. Ridiculous.

    • ikari_paul


      though, im all in favour of taking advantage of fools. one is born every minute, and it would crazy not to

    • NinjaKitteh

      Your kidding right? The first thing I'm going to do when I get home is load that bastard of a game on my old 4s and slap that baby on eBay!

      • gora

        I'm selling my unlocked gold 5S with Flappy Bird for $200k. Any takers 🙂

  • ikari_paul

    why is Nintendo wastinfg time speaking about this non-game?

    there are so many great overlooked games out there, yet sites like this one waste an insane amount of time talking about this junk. is this some kind of social experiment, or what?

  • TarePlays

    News Flash: Iron Pants knocked off of #1 Spot.
    New game called "Fly Birdie" is in the lead.

  • Jzracin

    Oh no don't talk shit about flappy bird there are some people on here that will jump your shit if you say flappy bird is not a real game me personally thought it was a waste of time never downloaded it and dont regret it

  • pdSlooper

    "[...] with the proverbial conspiratorial Eye of Sauron shifting from how Flappy Bird got to #1 to why it was removed."

    That was beautiful. I...I think I love you.

  • pdSlooper

    For all the people who can't understand why Nintendo would comment?

    part 1 - Flappy Bird is not a competitor product. Someone is not going to decide whether to buy Flappy Bird or to buy a 3DS game...they're going to get both. The games serve different purposes, and don't significantly divide up resources (money, playtime) in a way so that a person can only choose one.

    part 2 - Nintendo *WILL* suffer negative PR from people who think they're a big company picking on a lil' ol' indie developer. I'm 100% certain people have already made "shame on them!" statements, and haven't noticed or cared about the correction. This statement just helps keep that sort of thing in check.

    This also has a whiff of noblesse oblige to it. Nintendo deigned to notice the iOS gaming world! They let someone use green pipes (oooh)! Mind you, such a large company is extremely unlikely to ever feel real social obligation (investors make sure of that)...but taking actions that have the appearance of such a thing is positive PR.

  • worldcitizen1919

    I can understand how this guy has problems with wealth. I have a family in Asia and we just can't give them money because it causes so much fighting and jealousy. We send them very small sums but once we sent them several hundred $$ and that created a family feud for 25 years!! In hindsight it were better not to send it. This guy's case may involve millions$$ so imagine all his relatives and cousins and uncles and aunties and friends asking for a loan and the disputes and jealousies and conflicts. What was once a simple uncomplicated life sleeping with a mat on a floor has become a media intrusive life with cameras and tv personalities showing up at his door. Add to that the family conflicts and some users abusing him for making the game so difficult or whatever racist comments they made and he quickly realised that this was not his idea of happiness or paradise and he wanted out.

    Contentment is the greatest wealth not money.

    But if it was me I'd take as much money as I could get and use it for a worthy Cause because that would make me content.

  • Defcubusal

    I still believe there is something weird about how it was on the App Store for 6 months and just jumped to the top. On top of that the "Subject:great Review: game", 5 star reviews. If I had to guess, I believe there's another explanation other than luck, and it's probably illegal, and if it's not then it probably should be.