flappyThere are many out there who just can't stand hearing about Flappy Bird anymore, and there are many who just can't seem to get enough of this strange phenomenon. Personally, I find the whole thing fascinating, though I'm getting a bit tired of it myself. However, the latest turn of events in the Flappy Bird saga is that Dong Nguyen, the fabled creator of the game, has finally broken his silence since pulling the game from digital stores over the weekend. In an interview with Forbes, Dong Nguyen states that he originally created Flappy Bird as a game "to play in a few minutes when you are relaxed," but that it "happened to become an addictive product." Because of that, Nguyen thought it was best to pull the game from sale, and he tells Forbes "It's gone forever."

The interview touches on several other aspects of Nguyen's recent rise to fame, like his inability to sleep, his sudden meeting with Vietnam's deputy prime minister Vu Duc Dam, and the financial success of Flappy Bird. He wouldn't confirm the $50,000 a day that The Verge reported, but he did say that "it's a lot." Dong's other games Super Ball Juggling [Free] and Shuriken Block [Free] have also seen great success, though not at the level of Flappy Bird. He says he has no plans to take those other games down, unless he thinks they become too addictive like Flappy Bird. He also plans to continue making games, stating "After the success of Flappy Bird, I feel more confident, and I have freedom to do what I want to do." As to whether Nguyen thinks pulling down Flappy Bird was the right thing to do, he says "I don’t think it’s a mistake. I have thought it through."


  • Mike Gaboury

    Stick to those guns, do what you love.

    • http://twitter.com/ghookahs HUKASFILM LTD. ✩ @ghookahs

      And whats that? Making games nobody wants to play?

      My god, just let this guy fall back into his deserved obscurity. He is too dumb for words.

      Between the guy not realizing "death threats" are a fucking internet meme and weirdos like Patrick Klepick calling for the end of internet free speech, this month just gets stranger and stranger.

      • MartianLM

        Just, wow. So death threats should be considered 'just a meme', and someone making a mint but being principled enough to take his creation away anyway because it's creating addictions is reason to question HIS intelligence? We need more people like him tbh.

      • Weewoo312

        How does he make games nobody likes to play? Flappy Bird was a giant success, and if you mean his other games besides flappy bird sucked, they were doing pretty good by themselves.

        He doesn't care about fame or play count, he's doing what he loves, and that's good for him. I can see all you want is fame and greed.

  • phonecats

    I heard Clash of Clans and Candy Crush are removing their games also for being too addictive. Don't play any game too much or they'll take it away...

    • seinfeld95


    • iosgaminggamer

      Clash of clans isn't being pulled... They make $750K a day, they would never pull it
      I personally play it every hour for 5 minutes...

      • CzechCongo

        You should probably stop playing long enough to get your sarcasm meter checked.

      • toofinedog

        The guy that hacked CoC's Facebook the other day revealed Supercell made over $5mil in one day.

      • rewind

        Actually, Supercell makes 5.15 million a day, and so my estimate is that about 3 million of that comes from Clash. A little over 1.5 billion probably comes from Hay Day, and then a small amount from the soft-launched Boom Beach.

        Regardless of the stats, you obviously don't get the sarcasm...

      • fearlesskk

        1.5 billion off hayday

  • Mess

    Can we take a vote on this?

    All those in favour of a ceases and desist on all Flappy Bird related articles on the Internet* say 'Yay', all those against say 'Nay'

    *not just TA but everywhere. Yes I understand the significance, but let's actually do what the dev is asking and give him some peace.

    • http://toucharcade.com Eli Hodapp

      Let me check Google Analytics to see where people are voting with their clicks.

      • Mess

        Actually that would be really interesting to see!

      • http://toucharcade.com Eli Hodapp

        Flappy Bird articles do incredibly well, but so does everything else posted around them. What seems to be happening is that people are finding TouchArcade through Google searches for Flappy Bird and then exploring other games and content featured on here.

        So, in a very direct way, Flappy Bird mania is helping bring exposure to the other indie games we posted about today.

      • Mess

        That's cool!

        It's probably worked similarly with the twitch streams...

        It's an interesting phenomenon, but I for one have read just about enough for me.

      • Alexythimia23

        You are right, in a positive light it has given exposure to toucharcade who lets face it, are mobile/tablet gamers themselves whether ios or android, and now what we will get is everyone looking for the " next fappy bird craze" so we are getting a spotlight from the rest of the world shining in our little corner, its given hope for other smaller developers that they can get their games on the map, and there are some great developers and ideas out there which maybe now will get a chance to do what they love so we can game away, and so it goes.

      • Themostunclean

        They did an article on it yesterday with the graphs. Check it out.

      • rewind

        Actually, he just posted an article about that yesterday

      • rewind

        Actually, I should read the comment above mine before writing the same thing...

      • Edwin Ramirez

        Wonder how many of those clics end with a comment about asking you to stop with the daily dozen flappy bird related articles.

    • http://www.tap-start.com/ Mirkwood

      No one is forcing you to click on or read these articles.

      • Mess

        That is of course true. And I don't, I only click on articles that are interesting to me. However this statement from him, whether true or a bunch of lies, seems to me to be a good place to leave the debate.

        Of course I have no issue of TA carry on doing it as, like you say, I just won't read the articles. I am not the editor and I have no control over what is published here. And I fully understand why they have been covering it, as if I ran a site such as this (I wish I did sometimes, as I could put out content better than a lot of sites, not including TA) I definitely would have covered it as well.

        However, I was interested to see if anyone else felt the same as me, so asked the question in a polite, and slightly humorous way (in order to get the attention of the reader) and am waiting to gauge the response. Shal I take it the you are voting 'Nay'?

      • JPhilipp

        It's natural for a site specializing in iPhone games to give detailed coverage if an iPhone game becomes the global meme of the week. I would rather judge these posts by their reporting merit and the news they bring, than by topic. For instance, that the creator thought it's too addictive is new to me, and of interest. (I'd also be interested in detailed research on what made the game take off in the first place, as someone said it was due to a mention on a hugely popular Facebook group.)

    • Edwin Ramirez


  • defunct32

    Eh, addictive at first but I got bored and just don't care about it after a while.

  • yuk!

    What a loser.

  • Juroku

    I read an article on another site showing that the game's rise in popularity began when Doug placed the game in the Family category (and later the Games category) in the Apple App Store.

    The simple act of classifying the app put it on the charts and then it rose and rose.

  • ODMay

    My Flappy Bird app is collecting pixel dust.

  • lunchtkts

    I want the ads removed. Will pay good money. It's like free heroin but a commercial every 30 seconds. Killing my buzz here...

    • Phoenix24

      Download the Weblock app which blocks iAds over wifi. Free at the moment. Works great 🙂

  • JohnnyJ301

    I guess Dong doesn't like money.

    • dennis3520

      Or he just dont likes to be succes

      • JohnnyJ301

        He could have just let the checks just roll in and ignore the hype. With that kind of money rolling in, it could have financed a future game. I guess he pulled a "Dong" on himself.

      • nicoper

        He didnt complain about the money, he just didnt like to have media/press spamming him 24/7

      • JohnnyJ301

        Put your phone on mute and don't look at your emails. The media attention would have eventually died down but I guess some people don't like to be in the spotlight.

      • Weewoo312

        And what about all the other people who try to help him or ask for help with bugs in the game, not just hate him?

        It wasn't just his phone, he stated that the press even came to Vietnam to look for him. That is crazy. Wherever he went, he was constantly being abused. Why would he only shut off his phone to stop the threats?

        Sometimes, money isn't everything for some people.

      • JohnnyJ301

        Lmao, constantly being abused, are you kidding me? Dong isn't Miley Cyrus and now your saying he was threatened, c'mon man, it's a simple game not some NASA secret lab. lol. I think you're going overboard with the dramatics.

      • Weewoo312

        Have you seen his twitter? It's flooded with death threats, hate mail, and sarcastic suicide tweets. While the suicide tweets are sarcastic, English isn't Dongs first language, so he takes it seriously. So yeah, he's getting abused.

      • JohnnyJ301

        I had no idea, the death threats must be sarcastic also. Over a little video game, this internet world is ridiculous,lmao. What I think is happening is people are obviously trying to get to him via (the language barrier)

      • Guest

        Dong should grow a set of balls!

      • http://twitter.com/ghookahs HUKASFILM LTD. ✩ @ghookahs

        You do realize it only got worse after removing the app from app store, right?

        Its ironic the only way for him to escape the madness would be for him to fulfill the prophecy of the internet meme he has become.

    • oneironaut

      I'm pretty sure it's the harassment and death threats that he's not too fond of, actually.

      • JohnnyJ301

        Like I said in my last post, over a simple little game that is ridiculous! I can't believe some of these idiots, if in fact the threats were serious or people playing crappy mind games.

      • oneironaut

        You're right, it is ridiculous.

  • 2banrey7

    Stopped playing the game but it will forever stay on my phone !!

  • JohnnyJ301

    What is it with birds and iOS?

    • dragon2777

      I have to assume it is because Angry Birds was the first really popular game and everyone just went from there.

  • RellekWVU

    After reading some of these guys tweets and responses to tweets it looks like a lot of people were using sarcasm and he didn't catch it. Language barrier I guess. I almost feel bad for the guy, almost.

    • Honki

      This is exactly what I was thinking. Things like "I have no life because of Flappy Bird" seem to have gone completely over his head.

      • nini

        I would imagine when English isn't your first language, sarcasm when just typed out can be taken as literal.

    • witedahlia

      This is the first thing I've heard that actually makes sense. To be honest, the guy really annoyed me when he pulled the game because it seemed such a stupid thing to do. It made me suspicious of his motives. But after reading this comment and thinking back to all those long, crazy reviews on the App Store, it's a plausible explanation.

    • http://buzzabit.com/aaron/ Aaron Sullivan

      A plausible explanation.

  • khann

    Flappy bird is a perfect mobile game. Quick and simple. It is just like Fruit Ninja, tiny wing, and doodle jump. More indepth games should use an ipad.

    • falco

      Simple like badland one touch control.

      • nini

        But i hate playing that on my iPhone!

      • falco

        Its really good on iPad

  • theethanman2000

    When your game is SUPER popular and your making the big bucks why would you delete Your game off the AppStore just cuz it got "too addictive" isn't that the point of putting a game out on the AppStore? so it will get super poplar and everybody wants to play it? I don't know all the details behind it but it sounds pretty weird to me... I mean why didn't rovio delete angry birds when it became the #1 game on the AppStore? If everybody did that everytime their game got popular there wouldn't be any games left of the AppStore... I guess all i am trying to say is that I think a lot of people like me still like flappy bird... Like it's only been what, like a little over a month since it came out... I honestly think that maybe Gears is just removing it to see how many people miss it... And if there's enough people, they will bring it back... But most likely as a paid app... But maybe I'm wrong, what do you guys think? 😀

    • nini

      You're wrong, not every dev is looking to squeeze as much blood from the iOS ecosystem as possible and merely want to make games for free. Some people are talking about him like he killed a kitten for daring to not want attention or money, it's a little sad a guy can't make games for pleasure and wanting to share it.

    • Mess

      My guess is a religious. Addiction is probably against his religion; alcohol, gambling, drugs, iOS games - the usual bunch you know!

      • saosijs

        Yes, not all value systems in the world consider making money to be all that important as "us Westeners" grew accustomed to

    • oneironaut

      This makes me lose hope... Money isn't everything dude.

  • workingman

    That is the most rediculouse thing I have ever heard, maybe he should stop making games all together

  • renatpl

    I don't know if there's something else going on, but I'd milk that game until nobody plays it anymore. I'd add some light updates and even some crappy IAP powerups to make even more money.

  • xx99

    Thanks, I for one appreciate the article. It's an interesting event in gaming history. I really respect what Dong is doing: staying focused on why he is making games in the first place. Given, he's got a nice little nest egg now that will hopefully give him more freedom and time to develop. He wants to stay indie and has stated as much.

    His reaction to his success and his pulling of Flappy Bird is most certainly a cultural difference, and the language barrier is likely responsible at least in part. Nonetheless, he's doing what he thinks is best and he's NOT giving up on his hobby/dream of making games.

  • Ultima12

    The obsession with this game and it's creator is so odd to me. I just don't get it. I do hope he gets some peace though.

  • nav1

    I respectfully think this guy is being ridiculous, and a bit of a drama queen. Why make a game if you don't want people to play it? Can't he just ignore the attention? It could be the result of a bad translation, but the game being too addictive doesn't make sense at all as a reason to pull a successful game.

  • Smjpo Knfyl

    use my link featu. re/8x7gz2 to get iTunes, Amazon gift cards or PayPal cash

  • jgainsbrugh

    Yea I mean I don't see what Dong's deal is. All good games are addictive. That's the point of them. I heard of a dude in china doing a 48 hr marathon gaming session and dropping dead from it, but I don't think anyone would play Flappy Bird that long.

  • GenerallyEpic

    Good for him. I like that he had the courage to do that.

  • Entropy2k

    It seems quite clear why he stopped. It's not that he "fears success" or anything like that, he was simply disturbed by what he saw as an unhealthy attachment to the game by some. There is a difference between "I like playing this game" and "I just got a divorce because I need to play this game more." Is he right? I don't know, but I respect his willingness to stand by his beliefs.

    • M M

      You actually bought that obviously BS explanation??

      • oneironaut

        Just because you couldn't possibly fathom the idea of someone out there who wants to make games only to entertain, has little to no interest in profits, and feels that his game was causing many people distress and decided to pull it because he has a sliver of compassion and morality in him, doesn't mean that such people don't exist.

  • ineptidude

    All the comments on the App Store and elsewhere about Flappy Bird destroying lives are just jokes. The dude is a huge Dong.


    Personally, I think he made a smart decision. Some of those reviews were scary bordering on alarming. (Even if obviously made-up.) Besides, it's not like half of the world owns the game already or anything.

    • pdSlooper

      Probably scarier if English isn't your native language, which it may very well not be for Mr. Nguyen.

      • LOLCAT

        Haha, yeah, I didn't think of that. They're scary for me, and English IS my first language.

  • M M

    Isn't this that was getting in trouble with Nintendo licensing?

  • http://nachtfischer.wordpress.com/ Nachtfischer

    So it's "too addictive". That's really an attribute you can only ever ascribe to a bad game to begin with. If it was a good game it a) would intrinsically motivate, therefore it wouldn't need extrinsic addiction mechanisms to motivate players and b) even if you just call "playing a lot" addictive, it could not even be "too addictive" in terms of any reasonable scale, because it would actually be good for your brain to interact with that thing and employ creativity and ingenuity to do well (which you'd have to in a good game). The dev is rightfully not proud of this game at all. Good move taking it down!

  • Buzzit

    I'm going long dong that he has an ever bigger game coming out soon

  • Diaboliq

    So how does he feel about taking the game down, which caused about 500 more copies of the "addictive" game to be produced... All he did was take away his drug, which made people take 100 more different kinda of that exact drug... The people "addicted" too it will still play it.. He didnt delete it from their phones... Sounds like he didnt think it through THAT hard

    • pdSlooper

      That's a bit much to hold him responsible for, don't you think?

  • eventide

    It's like people wanted him to succeed because they knew he didn't want to succeed. Like some kind of pop culture fad people get caught up in from time to time. Kinda like the Wiis spike in popularity except Nintendo was eating it up.
    Not so much nowadays.

  • Defcubusal

    I don't believe a word of this "it was too addictive" nonsense. Please, try harder next time. People govern their own addictive nature, if you take "flappy birds" down, these people will just download something else. But then again I don't believe a word of this so I guess it doesn't matter.

  • TripMX

    What a nice cover-up; we are not stupid. Would you really deny everything that you've worked so hard to achieve just to be seen as a developer with a 'conscience'? We painstakingly go to college and study hard for a possible decent financial future, not to blow it all away....especially with a reason like this one. Why don't you donate to me all of your earnings; I'll support you then. xD

    • oneironaut

      Not everybody's chasing the money train bro.

  • eventide

    The guy liked phone games enough to create one but didn't want it to be successful and didn't want it to played very much. Spent hundreds of dollars and even gave it an update. Of course he made his investment back in droves but still. He wanted to limit and eventually stop the use of a game he created for people to kill time.

    'Like my game but not too much, if you do you can't have it' lol

    Who does that?

    If an American created a phenomenon like this do people think he'd get a visit from Biden? I think not. For him to get a visit from a high ranking government official seems really really odd. Something more than some public service announcement about gaming addiction is going on IMO

  • quarkin

    nice game

  • fearlesskk

    Are you done with crappy bird...

  • JohnnyJ301

    I think if you're scared that your game is going to be addictive. The video game industry isn't for you.

  • Mike

    I smell bullshit. Anyways, whether he would have faded away into obscurity on his own accord or not, it would have happened either way.