Why Flappy Bird's creator pulled the plug

By Matt Maguire

The designer of now-pulled iOS smash hit Flappy Bird says he removed the game from the App Store because it was harmful.

Addictive and irritating in equal measure, Flappy Bird proved to be a surprise hit in the competitive mobile phone game market, attracting more than 50 million downloads and hooking users into a time-consuming challenge now renowned for its difficulty.

But its creator took the game offline on Monday morning after complaining with a choice of words that sounded more like one of its exasperated players than its maker: "I cannot take this anymore."

He hasn't explained what he meant - until now. In an interview with Forbes, Dong Nguyen said feelings of discomfort and guilt led him to pull the game.

"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."

Such was his stress, Nguyen said he couldn't sleep, but now the game is gone his conscience is clear.

"I don't think it's a mistake," said the 29-year-old. "I have thought it through."

He will continue to develop games, and has several other top App Store games, including Super Ball Juggling and Shuriken Block.

He has no plans to remove those two, calling them "harmless".

However, if he thought players were getting addicted, he would not hesitate to also take them down.

Last week Nguyen's estimated daily take from Flappy Bird in-app advertising was US$50,000.

"I don't know the exact figure, but I do know it's a lot," he said.

- Gameplanet

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