Flappy Bird creator Dong Nguyen says he yanked his app from online stores because of its “addictive” qualities, putting to rest the many theories about why he would try to kill the game at the peak of its popularity.
“Flappy Bird was designed to play in a few minutes when you are relaxed,” the developer told Forbes in his first interview since pulling the app. “But it happened to become an addictive product. I think it has become a problem. To solve that problem, it’s best to take down Flappy Bird. It’s gone forever.”
Nguyen has several other top game apps, including Super Ball Juggling and Shuriken Block, which he claims he has no plans to remove since they are “harmless” — although he notes that his opinion would change were he to see players getting hooked on them.
His statement apparently puts an end to the week’s greatest tech mystery, which began Saturday when the dev said he would pull the app from iTunes and Google Play. After Nguyen made good on his promise Sunday, the world was left to wonder why he would pull the plug on a white-hot hit that reportedly earned him $50,000 a day.
There were rumors of a sale to another developer and of (now-debunked) copyright complaints from Nintendo. Reports surfaced about negative online reaction to Nguyen’s creation, as well as accusations that the dev somehow cheated the system using bots to artificially inflate his success.
The Flappy Bird mystery might be solved, but the phenomenon isn’t over. Despite the game’s having been removed from official channels, Flappy Bird
fans addicts can continue to get their fix by downloading one of many clones still available, or else playing the original online.
That’s if they don’t fancy shelling out $100,000 for a phone with the game still installed.