Goodbye, 'Flappy Bird': Developer Mysteriously Removes App from Stores

Feb 10, 2014 10:23 AM EST | Jordan Ecarma

The surprise hit game "Flappy Bird" has been removed from app stores by its creator, who said that the media were "overrating" the game's success.

The addictive free app, which has been downloaded 50 million times, came from Vietnam-based developer Dong Nguyen, Business Insider reported.

Nguyen tweeted a warning on Saturday, telling fans, "I am sorry 'Flappy Bird' users, 22 hours from now, I will take 'Flappy Bird' down. I cannot take this anymore."

The game has since been removed from all online stores, the New York Daily News reported.

Nguyen, who was bringing in $50,000 a day in ad revenue from the game, launched the app in May 2013, but it didn't become a hit until recently, according to Business Insider.

Gizmodo hypothesized that Nguyen took down the game because of a potential lawsuit surrounding the setting of Flappy Bird, which has a classic video game look extremely similar to the "Super Mario" world.

The creator denied that possibility in a tweet but remained mysterious about his reasons for taking down an app that was so popular.

"It is not anything related to legal issues," Ngyuen tweeted on Saturday. "I just cannot keep it anymore."

The simple game, which lets users guide a bird up and down to dodge  green pipes, reportedly took less than a week to create. It was the No. 1 app in the country, beating out a copycat called "Ironpants" and Facebook's critical hit app, "Paper," which sits at third place.

Nguyen, who has declined to comment to Reuters about his decision, spoke to The Verge last week about the success of his indie app and why it was popular among users.

"The reason Flappy Bird is so popular is that it happens to be something different from mobile games today, and is a really good game to compete against each other," Nguyen told The Verge. "People in the same classroom can play and compete easily because [Flappy Bird] is simple to learn, but you need skill to get a high score." 

The Vietnam developer hinted at being overwhelmed by the press attention in an earlier tweet that was posted on Feb. 4.

"Press people are overrating the success of my games," Nguyen wrote. "It is something I never want. Please give me peace."

Removing the game from app stores won't be the end of it since users who previously downloaded Flappy BIrd will still have it on their phones. Some people seem to be taking advantage of the app's limited availability by selling phones with the game downloaded in pricey eBay auctions, USA TODAY reported.

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