In May last year, a little known indie developer operating out of Vietnam released a game about a little bug-eyed yellow bird who liked to flap. This simple game was released with no major marketing strategy beyond simply existing. Its name was Flappy Bird and the developer’s is Dong Nguyen.
The notoriously addictive game passed by word of mouth from one person to the next. Old-school marketing strategies worked their magic and slowly but surely brought Flappy Bird to the attention of the public. The steady interest gained seemed reasonable however, until an explosion of notice late last year saw the game spiral into the top spot for the iTunes and Google Play Store.
Flappy Bird – the rise of the Phoenix
With Flappy Bird occupying number one on the iTunes store, Dong Nguyen gained two other spots for his games by taking number two (Super Ball) and six (Shuriken Block). The positions acquired mainly off the success of Flappy Bird. The game itself is simple, with plain graphics, no story and only one function available to the player. The little bird the player controls has to flap in order to gain height and avoid pipes. The player does that by tapping the screen, so it’s not really rocket science. That’s essentially all there is to the game, tap screen to flap and repeat for success.
One of the most played games of 2014
The beauty comes into play with the difficulty, which gradually then rapidly ramps up so as to make winning a major achievement. The high difficulty makes accomplishment of successful runs such a rewarding addiction that the game has become the most downloaded and played game so far in 2014. Not bad for a game that passed on by word of mouth. For those playing, Flappy Bird was free to play with no in game purchases. Nguyen rather refreshingly made his money from in-game adverts which did not stop the game play.
Asta la vista Flappy Bird – you won’t be coming back
It’s a simple formula but a successful one as the game was one of the most successful on iTunes. So successful that Dong Nguyen has grown tired of the constant work he had to put in to keep it going. The effort involved became so great in fact that earlier in February he made the extreme choice to take the game down from Google Play and iTunes. He did that in order to stop the barrage of messages and attention required to maintain the game’s popularity.
But taking the game off Google Play and iTunes has done nothing to stop the popularity of Flappy Bird. In fact, the game is now being copied so relentlessly by other developers that the original is no longer one game but ninety-five. That’s according to a Guardian article that ran this week stating that out of three hundred new games put up last week, ninety five were Flappy Bird copies.
Welcome Flappies, we’ve been expecting you!
The remarkable thing was that the games are now available on iTunes, and the closest version you’ll get to Flappy is in fact Floppy Bird among numerous others. iTunes has been cracking down on Flappy Bird rip off’s in order to keep some sense of sanity, so the ninety five was actually just the few that got through the iTunes staff.
At present, a really special Flappy Bird clone has the top spot on the list and many more are well-represented by gamers, including some humorously named games such as Flappy Bieber. The legacy of Nguyen is surely secured now that his humble game has spawned a new genre of want-to-be Flappies.
Author Bio: Alfred Stallion wrote this awesome article. He is a lifelong gamer and passionate supporter of everything related to gaming. Even he runs an online gaming site Army Games 365 where you can play all your favourite war games.