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The RL Button: Why Pulling Flappy Bird was a Bad Idea

Why Dong Nguyen needs to set his bird free.

Because of the unwanted attention, developer Dong Nguyen took down down his ultra popular mobile game Flappy Bird. But with the huge momentum behind this game, taking his ball going home is huge mistake for Nguyen. This is the moment for the developer to harness the Flappy Bird brand while it’s still hot, rather than just throw in the bird coop.

Nguyen made tens of thousands of dollars on ad revenue (remember it was a free game), plus millions of people were (and still are) enjoying a simple yet great game. Pulling Flappy Bird off from Google Play and the App Store with a demand so high is huge smudge on Nguyen’s resume. The developer should have kept app up while he worked on new game, namely a better-polished sequel. With Flappy Bird now gone, he would have to rush the get the next game out there while this name was still fresh in players’ minds.

As for the “I can’t take it anymore” statement, It’s not hard to see why all these eyes on Nguyen was too much. He’s an indie developer, not a platinum-selling pop star with publicity training. All these people reaching out to him be it positive or negative is definitely overwhelming to him. But that’s price of being a household name. He could have made this curse his gift and become an influential figure with gamers and fellow developers.

People who didn’t get a chance to download Flappy Bird (where have THEY been?) will find somebody who will make it available, whether Dong Nguyen provides it or not. There are “developers” that would do anything to leech off of Flappy Bird‘s success, even before it was taken down. It is easier to cash in with ripoffs now that the original is gone. Flappy Bird needs to return to the market so it keep the clones in check. A deveoper’s work making nothing while the ripoffs the siphon all the cash.

Flappy Bird is gaming icon, and its early dismissal is a lose-lose situation for both Dong Nguyen and the players. The game needs to come back for the benifit of both the developer created it and the gamers who enjoy it.

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