After killing the Flappy Bird that laid the golden egg, creator settles into his success

After killing the Flappy Bird that laid the golden egg, creator settles into his success

Dong Nguyen is the developer behind one of the most infamous iOS games to appear (then disappear) in recent memory: the incredibly simple yet challenging game Flappy Bird. Now, for the first time, he's speaking about his experience. Rolling Stone:

Since taking Flappy Bird down, he says he's felt "relief. I can't go back to my life before, but I'm good now." As for the future of his flapper, he's still turning down offers to purchase the game. Nguyen refuses to compromise his independence. But will Flappy Bird ever fly again? "I'm considering it," Nguyen says. He's not working on a new version, but if he ever releases one it will come with a "warning," he says: "Please take a break."

Nguyen seems like a pretty good natured guy in this interview, and someone who genuinely wants to make simple to play games that are very difficult to master. Whether he likes it or not, Flappy Bird has changed his life β€” at the time he made it he was working for a taxi software firm, now he's able to be independent and do what he wants. Despite pulling Flappy Bird from circulation, Nguyen is still making plenty of residual income from ads shown for existing users.

It may seem counterintuitive for developers and others who crave success and recognition, but being in the spotlight on the Internet can sometimes feel like the Eye of Sauron is upon you. And it isn't something that everyone wants or can handle. I'm impressed by Nguyen's self-discipline to remove the game from circulation despite its enormous popularity, and by finding some balance afterwards to continue to do what he wants to do.

Peter Cohen

Managing Editor of iMore, Mac and gaming specialist and all-around technologist. Follow him on Twitter @flargh

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Reader comments

After killing the Flappy Bird that laid the golden egg, creator settles into his success

11 Comments

What bothers me is the flappy clones that do a mirror copy of his game with just a different flapper

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Versus his game which stole all of its graphics from Nintendo and Mario? To me one is no better than the other.

I would agree with you if he still offered his game. The problem is, as far as it goes, flappy bird is now dead software. People still want to play it, so they are willing to download clones to play.

People still want to play it, so they are willing to download clones to play.

Yep. Nature abhors a vacuum. The big question is whether Nguyen can stay ahead of the curve with other unique or compelling game ideas. He wouldn't be the first game developer to be a one-hit wonder, and let's face it: the chances of him hitting the top of the charts again, now that the Flappy Bird fervor has died down a bit, are pretty remote. Still, I wish him the best of luck - even though I absolutely hated the game.

I played the game once and it was "okay." I could see where it would be something to challenge yourself with, but nothing I could play often. I still believe, in my conspiracy theorist's heart of hearts, that he had a cease and desist from Nintendo.

"The big question is whether Nguyen can stay ahead of the curve with other unique or compelling game ideas."

That is the thing, getting a hit isn't easy. When you do have a hit, you need to ride it for as long as possible. Work on other projects of course, but don't kill the goose that is laying your golden eggs.

That $50k a day revenue can be startling to some. But I am sure in time we will see it return, although it probably won't be nearly as successful the next time around. People will be onto the next "new, hot game"

You just never know how things can affect a person. It's obvious he wasn't in it for the money. Great read!

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that's what i like to hear for once, someone that isn't trying to sellout and only make money. hard to find people like that anymore.