Do You Miss “Flappy Bird?”

The 2014 mobile application game sensation is about to take the form of many upright arcade games, premiering as a 91 inch arcade cabinet. The 42 inch screen and solo red button will enable players to guide flappy bird through the mazes of pipes. Bay Tek Games, a Wisconsin video game manufacturing company, acquired the rights to the addictive, viral game, but the jury is still out on when the arcade-version of “Flappy Bird” will reach public release.

The Game’s Mass Appeal and Criticism

Dong Nguyen, a video game developer from Vietnam, published the game on May 24, 2013 as a free download. The game did not cause much of a stir at the time, but once the word spread, early 2014 saw over 50 million downloads. At the height of the madness, Nguyen claimed he was profiting $50,000 per day on advertisements.

Reviewers gave strong criticism due to its uncanny resemblance to “Piou Piou vs. Cactus,” a 2011 game involving a yellow, red-beaked bird. Game players had to guide the bird through cacti and pipes – the same premise as “Flappy Bird.”

Some critics have also proposed that Nguyen used bots to increase downloads of the game, falsely spiking its popularity. He denies both allegations.

“Flappy Bird” Removal Sparked Outrage

On February 10, 2014, Nguyen permanently removed the game from all app stores, citing guilt over the addictive nature of the mobile game. Nguyen received violent threats via social media for his decision. Many copy-cat versions of the game popped up and Apple began cracking down, disallowing any games with the word “flappy” in the title.

August 2014 saw a re-release of a newer “Flappy Bird” version on Amazon Fire TV, including a multiplayer option.

Nguyen has entertained the possibility of bringing back “Flappy Bird,” so long as it did not interfere with player’s quality of life and productivity. Now we see that “Flappy Bird” is indeed on its way back, although this time it is out to steal our quarters, not our ad clicks.