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Remorseful Creator Killed “Flappy Bird” Due to Game Addicts’ Suffering


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When 28-year-old Vietnamese programmer Nguyen Ha Dong created the simple, retro-style game Flappy Bird during a spare weekend last year, he had no inkling of the consequences. He made it freely available online, hoping to make a small side-income from in-game ads. Instead, “Flappymania” exploded worldwide—the game has been downloaded more than 50 million times and was earning him $50,000 a day.

Crack on a screen. Photo via

Crack on a screen. Photo via

Then, one month ago, Nguyen sensationally tweeted: “I am sorry ‘Flappy Bird’ users, 22 hours from now, I will take ‘Flappy Bird’ down. I cannot take this anymore.” True to his word—amid widespread disbelief, 145,000 retweets and 10 million last-minute downloads—he killed his cash cow.

Now Nguyen has given an interview to Rolling Stone  that suggests his concerns about his game’s super-addictive qualities were behind his surprising decision. He received, he says, many accusatory emails. One read: “13 kids at my school broke their phones because of your game, and they still play it cause it’s addicting like crack.” Others blamed Flappy Bird for job losses and family breakdowns. “At first I thought they were just joking,” he tells Rolling Stone. “but I realize they really hurt themselves.”

Taking his game down, says Nguyen, was a “relief”. And if he ever releases a follow-up version, he will be certain to build in a simple anti-addiction warning: “Please take a break.”

Nguyen Photo via

A Frankenstein for our age? Photo via