WASHINGTON, May 23, 2014 — The Vietnamese-based developer Dong Nguyen, creator of the widely popular and smash-hit online game known as Flappy Bird, took to Twitter a week or so ago to post a screenshot teaser of what many initially suspected was a coming attraction for a new game that many hope will be as addictive and challenging as the last.
Nguyen posted the teaser announcement saying, “I am making a new game,” adding, “So people can forget about Flappy Bird for a while.”
The original game, Flappy Bird, first hit Apple’s iOS App Store in May of 2013, but it really grabbed ahold and became a craze in January of 2014, when it became the most downloaded free game in the app store, generating $50,000 a day according to the game’s creator.
Nguyen unilaterally decided to pull the hugely popular game from both Apple’s and Google’s app stores on February 10, 2014 stating publicly that, “I am sorry ‘Flappy Bird’ users, 22 hours from now, I will take ‘Flappy Bird’ down. I cannot take this anymore.”
Apparently, the popularity and addictive nature of the original game became too much for him to handle.
As soon as the game was taken offline and new downloads became unavailable, a secondary market emerged. Individuals who had already downloaded the game began selling their used phones with Flappy Bird pre-installed for as much as $1,499 on E-Bay.
After Nguyen’s cryptic and ambiguous announcement this week, news emerged that the creator will be officially unveiling a new, revised game this summer. The new game will supposedly be “less addictive.”
Whatever the final game construct will be, it is clear that Nguyen has by accident or by design perfectly executed the hype necessary to make the product’s unveiling a massive event. The previous version, Flappy Bird, occupies a place in the top ten most downloaded games of all time with more than 50 million downloads already under the first iteration’s belt.
Having been the number one most popular game in over 100 countries around the globe, it could be a challenge for Nguyen to reclaim the former glory of Flappy Bird and actually live up to the hype.
But with a clear recipe for success, Nguyen seems well positioned to repeat.