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 — 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.