By Nguyen Phuong Linh
HANOI Feb 10 The developer of Flappy Bird, the
former most popular free mobile game on the Apple Inc App Store
and Google Inc's Android Play store, took the
game down at midnight on Sunday as he announced he would do 22
The game is no longer available to download for either Apple
or Google users, but its fans still can have fun with the bird
if they already downloaded the game to their devices.
Nguyen Ha Dong, a Hanoi-based game developer, announced the
grounding of the addictive game in a Tweet at 1900 GMT on
Saturday in which he also apologised to Flappy Bird players.
"Twenty-two hours from now, I will take 'Flappy Bird' down,"
Dong said, adding "it is not anything related to legal issues.
"I cannot take this anymore," he wrote.
His Tweet attracted more than 136,000 Retweets as of 0430
GMT on Monday.
Flappy Bird caused a sensation after rising from obscurity
to become one of the most downloaded mobile games on both Apple
and Google's online stores.
Users have to steer a bird between green pipes. The Android
version has been downloaded up to 50 million times and attracted
more than half a million reviews.
Many people have been questioning Dong on Twitter
about his decision to take down the game as only a day earlier
he had been talking about developing the game for Microsoft's
Dong could not be reached for comment. He turned his
telephone off after cancelling an interview with Reuters on
Thursday and not finalising arrangements for one on Friday.
Unlike other successful game makers like Rovio
Entertainment, which produced the hugely popular Angry Birds
game and has hundreds of programmers, Dong made Flappy Bird by
himself in a few nights, he said on Twitter earlier.
The game, which he said was inspired by Nintendo's Mario
Bros, has been earning on average $50,000 a day from
advertising, Dong said in a media interview.
Two friends of Dong said Nintendo had sent him a
warning letter, but the Japanese game maker said it was not
considering a lawsuit.
"It sounds very much like a rumour and if it is, we
certainly can't comment on that," Nintendo's media
representative told Reuters on Friday.
One gaming company manager said Dong's decision to take down
the game was wise.
"Dong is taking one step back to avoid legal risk because
it's too difficult to deal with legal issues himself if it
happens," said Duy Doan, a senior manager at VTC Online, one of
Vietnam's leading game companies.
Dong said earlier that he was not looking for any investors
and would not sell the game. One expert said investors would not
"Flappy Bird is not to the taste of many game investors
because it's just hit-based which will bring very uncertain cash
flow and no recurring," said Nguyen Hieu Linh, investment
manager at the Japanese CyberAgent Ventures Inc.
"I doubt he needs to fund raise as he's already earned a
certain amount of money and he doesn't need more help to make
this kind of mini game," Linh added.