If Flappy Bird creator Dong Nguyen withdrew his masterpiece of a game before you had a chance to see what all the fuss was about, leaving you having to choose from one of the gazillion imitations that popped up following its disappearance, then you’ll be pleased to learn that Dong is considering re-releasing the hit game.
In a wide-ranging interview with Rolling Stone magazine this week, 28-year-old Dong said that if he does relaunch Flappy Bird, it’ll likely come with a warning attached: “Please take a break.”
The super-simple but annoyingly addictive side-scroller had millions of players around the world pulling their hair out in blind frustration as they tapped manically away on their mobile devices in an effort to get the ‘bird’ safely through the green-pipe obstacles.
Although the game landed in the iOS app store in May 2013, it wasn’t until last month that it went viral. Fifty million downloads later, and with Hanoi-based Dong reportedly making $50,000 a day from in-game ads, the game developer started to feel pressure from bloggers and others accusing him of ripping off Nintendo art for the game’s graphics. Teachers started contacting him, too, lambasting Dong and his creation for distracting students during class. Finally, the Vietnamese media began turning up at his home, hoping to get an interview with this mysterious character about whom little was known.
Dong hated all the attention, but mistakenly thought that by pulling the game from the iOS and Google Play app stores – which he did on February 9 – he might get his quiet life back. Instead, things got even more crazy.
Looking back over these recent events, Dong told Rolling Stone that with his game he was “just making something fun” to share with others, adding, “I couldn’t predict the success of Flappy Bird.”
He said he found games like Angry Birds “too busy” and so instead wanted to create something with simple graphics that involved only one action – tapping. Guiding him were the words of Atari founder and Pong creator Nolan Bushnell: “Easy to learn and difficult to master.”
Commenting on the crazy number of Flappy Bird imitations that have launched since he withdrew his game, Dong says simply, “People can clone the app because of its simplicity, but they will never make another Flappy Bird.”
While Dong mulls over whether to once again unleash Flappy Bird on the mobile-game-playing masses, he’s spending his time working on a number of new games, “an untitled cowboy-themed shooter, a vertical flying game called Kitty Jetpack and an ‘action chess game,’ called Checkonaut.”
With all three said to feature “simple play, retro graphics and hardcore difficulty,” it’s highly likely that we haven’t heard the last of Dong.