Flappy Bird could make a comeback, creator hints

12 Mar 2014

After pulling the popular app from app stores last month, Flappy Bird creator Dong Nguyen admitted he is considering a re-release of the addictive game – but a new version would come with a warning.

Flappy Bird was released on iOS last September followed by an Android release in January this year. Though simple in concept (tap the screen to make the bird fly through obstacles), the game was challenging in practice – the perfect combination to trigger obsessive gameplay.

The app itself was free to download but, by February, Nguyen was earning more than US$50,000 a day in advertising revenue.

However, Nguyen pulled the game in February, fearing its addictive quality had negative repercussions for which he felt responsible.

A string of copycat apps quickly cropped up, so much so that Google and Apple started rejecting these imitators. There’s nothing quite like the original, though, and while no new downloads of Flappy Bird are possible, those who already own it can continue playing and Nguyen still makes tens of thousands of dollars from it.

Nguyen revealed in an interview with Rolling Stone that he continues to turn down offers to purchase the game in order to retain his independence as a developer. He was also asked if he would re-release the app, to which he said, “I’m considering it.”

Nguyen may not be actively working on a new version of Flappy Bird, but he added that, if one ever should arise, it will come with a warning reminding users to take a break.

Elaine Burke is the host of For Tech’s Sake, a co-production from Silicon Republic and The HeadStuff Podcast Network. She was previously the editor of Silicon Republic.