RIP, Flappy Bird. We hardly knew thee. The beloved/loathed smartphone game about pixelated birds that look like fish crashed and burned at the height of its popularity, leaving behind a void filled only with Game Over screens and unmet potential. You will be missed.
How did we get here? Following up on a tweet last week promising to pull the title from the App Store, Flappy Bird creator Dong Nguyen did just that over the weekend, claiming the attention the game attracted ruined his life. That means new players wishing to download the title from the App Store or Google Play will have to get their flap on elsewhere.
Indeed, a post-Flappy Bird world is turning out to be a very strange place. For example, an iPhone 5s loaded with Flappy Bird is currently going for close to $100,000 on eBay--and the latest bid looks real. Last week, Nguyen told The Verge that Flappy Bird was raking in $50,000 a day, and developers are scrambling to replicate the game's success. Listings on Elance, a freelancing network, are calling for designers and programmers to help with all sorts of new creative projects, like:
They will have their work cut out for them, of course:
Flappy Bird's sudden disappearance begs the question: Could the game ever come back? Nguyen says pulling it was "not anything related to legal issues," and appears unwilling to sell it. Which leaves a few options. TechCrunch's Greg Kumparak says "it's feasible," depending on how Flappy Bird was pulled from the App Store. "If the app package was removed from iTunes Connect entirely, Nguyen would need to resubmit it and wait for Apple’s approval, and it will have lost its previous download count, reviews, etc.," writes Kumparak. "If he just turned off its country-by-country availability, bringing the game back could be a matter of ticking a few check boxes."
So long for now in any case, Flappy Bird. If you're looking to fill the Flappy Bird-shaped hole in your heart, Ironpants, another one of Nguyen's creations, is probably a good place to start. It currently sits at the #1 spot in the App Store. And Android users desperate to download Flappy Bird might be able to do so with this workaround. Otherwise, I might have an iPhone for sale if anyone with $100,000 to spare is interested.