Though Flappy Bird was first released in May 2013, it's only recently become the latest hit craze compulsive mobile game everyone and their mum needs to play. A cutesy take on the classic tradition of helicopter tunnel games, it has players guiding a wonky bird through endless obstacles by tapping to flap. But at the height of its popularity, creator Dong Nguyen has pulled the iOS and Android from app stores, saying it "ruins my simple life."
Flappy Bird had been earning an average of $50,000 per day, the Vietnamese developer told The Verge last week. Not any longer.
"I am sorry 'Flappy Bird' users, 22 hours from now, I will take 'Flappy Bird' down," Nguyen announced on Twitter on Saturday. "I cannot take this anymore." 22 hours later, it was gone. He added, "It is not anything related to legal issues. I just cannot keep it anymore."
What exactly the problem is a mystery--whether he's overwhelmed or upset by the fame or money or goodness knows what--as Nguyen is quite vague. The clearest indication--though one still quite open to interpretation--came several hours before announcing his decision, when Nyuyen said "I can call 'Flappy Bird' is a success of mine. But it also ruins my simple life. So now I hate it."
Unpleasantly, but not unsurprisingly, vultures are swooping down to the corpse of Flappy Bird. Several clones with similar names are already on app stores, typically with more aggressive monetisation than Nguyen's in-game banner ads.
While Flappy Bird may not have gone the way he wanted, Nguyen isn't giving up. "And I still make games," he tweeted after announcing the takedown.