Flappy Bird Creator Breaks Silence, Explains Why He Shut It Down


Flappy birds

Flappy Bird, the game that suddenly became the world’s most sought-after application, was shot dead. No, it wasn’t its enemies, but its own creator, Don Nguyen, who – after long days spent without Internet – decided to break his silence and explain the short life and death of the heavily pixelated bird that has captured global attention over the past few weeks.

In an exclusive interview with Forbes, Nguyen admitted that he developed the game in just a few days with a simple aim: play it “when you are relaxed”. But in an interesting turn of events, the game released for free on May 24, 2013, with little fanfare by .GEARS, a Vietnam-based developer, became a world hit, ranking as the No. 1 game both in the App Store and Google Play.

The 29-year-old developer has other games in the App Store, such as Super Ball Juggling and Shuriken Block, but these are harmless. Flappy Bird, on the other hand, delighted and engaged players in equal measure. It was an extraordinarily difficult game. In fact, it was so difficult to play that Twitter users flooded social media with their highest score. It became a phenomenon. As Nguyen said: it became addictive.

“Flappy Bird was designed to play in a few minutes when you are relaxed,” says Dong Nguyen, in an exclusive interview, his first since he pulled the plug on the app. “But it happened to become an addictive product. I think it has become a problem. To solve that problem, it’s best to take down Flappy Bird. It’s gone forever.”

And that was exactly the reason why he decided to pull the game from both storefronts.

He says he will continue to develop games. “After the success of Flappy Bird, I feel more confident, and I have freedom to do what I want to do.”

The lucky ones who have already installed the game on their iPhone can play it further. But those who are after the game have two options: either head to eBay and search for an iPhone with Flappy Birds installed or – maybe the less costly option – ask a friend to give you a copy via different tools such as iExplorer.


  • robintprice

    Meanwhile he still has millions of installs on devices and the ads are still showing which is still making him lots of money.

  • Al

    “The lucky ones who have already installed the game…”
    hehe… yeah… that’s a matter of opinion 🙂
    Installed and removed 5 minutes later.

  • crosseyed_mofo


  • C Pak

    I wish the article would have addressed the issue of him buying positive reviews.

  • Where’s the evidence for this? We’ve mentioned previous claims of this in other articles, but so far nobody has found evidence.

  • C Pak

    I am referring to the rumour he bought the positive reviews. I wish the article would have had a response from him being asked if he paid for that sort of thing.

  • C Pak

    The evidence could be that the early reviews seem to similar to have been made by real people reviewing the app.

  • I think the media scrutiny right now would uncover any sort of fake reviews and such. Mashable debunked this earlier this morning:

  • Still have the game installed. It adds about $99,000 resale value to my 5S.

  • jce

    Assuming your not able to just put it on your phone for free at any time… srsly if you dont know how to do it hit up 1 of those asian phone shop throw the guy a 5 come back in 10 mins and itll b on there

  • Evil Aspen

    One day the real reason will come out. No way you take a cash cow like this down. Its like winning the lottery and giving the ticket back.

  • C Pak

    Thanks that’s just the analysis I wanted to read.

  • hub2

    The creator of the Calvin & Hobbes comic strip stopped publishing at the height of its popularity, when it was only 10 years old. He did not want to “productize” his creation beyond the books. That’s why there were never any other official Calvin or Hobbes merchandise, or TV shows.

    Anyone who can walk away from a big success to preserve the integrity of their creation or, in this case, claiming altruism (obviously he’s still raking in $$$ due to ads on installed copies), gets my respect. Nguyen has mine for now, of course I reserve the right to change it as the situation develops and he could change his tune in the future.