Wanting What You Can’t Have: Flappy Bird


Only a week ago, Flappy Bird was topping the charts for free apps in the App Store. Now, it is no longer available. Flappy Bird is a mind-numbing, addictive game involving only a tap of your finger. Tapping your screen propels the bird through an obstacle of pipes varying in size. The simple objective is to get the bird through the gaps in the pipes. Sounds easy right? Wait until you try it. It took me over 10 tries to get a score of 1 and even more to make it past 5. Soon enough you’ll realize you’ve just spent over 30 minutes trying to beat your best score. Personally, my best score is a mere 26. Knowing people with scores over 100, I wonder what’s the point of even playing for that long and why frustrate yourself trying? I’m obviously not the only one still playing and trying to beat their best score, and definitely not the only one wondering how it caused the creator so much stress to delete the app all together.

Why would the creator of this app delete it if he was making over $50,000 a day on ads alone? Dong Nguyen, the creator, said he deleted it because of all the stress from his newfound fame. Calls for interviews, accusations that he copied the game, general complaints and requests for it to be updated are a few of the causes.

Instead, I think Nguyen deleted Flappy Bird as a publicity and marketing attempt. He posted on Twitter saying that in 22 hours he would be deleting the app for good. To me, this was a brilliant way to market this inevitably fast fading game in an attempt to gain more players. This simple yet frustrating game has no rewards and no real mental appeal in the long run. In deleting his game, he made primetime news with reporters announcing the games end and his unusual reasoning for doing so. This brought even more attention to the game and making people who don’t already have it possibly want to try it. The value and demand for his game has gone up for those who can longer download the app, which makes for the possibility for the questions of why not bring it back and gain more players, maybe charge for the app or even sell it all together to profit even more?

This might not be the case, but I think it was a great way to market his game and get people downloading and talking about it in its final hours.



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