Flappy Bird to Return to iTunes App Store with Warning – But Not Soon

Posted by at 6:19 am on March 20, 2014

Dong Nguyen, the creator of the highly-addictive game Flappy Bird confirmed to a fan at a GDC conference in San Francisco on Wednesday that he plans on returning the app to Apple’s App Store at some point in the future — with added warnings urging players to “please take a break” periodically — but won’t specify when it is returning.

At the height of its popularity, the free app was earning Nguyen $50,000 a day in ad revenue alone. He pulled the app from the App Store last month, citing constant threats and abusive messages that blamed him for making the game too addictive and ruining people’s lives. Since its removal, hundreds of Flappy Bird clones have sprung up.

In the game, players attempt to navigate a bird through a series of Mario-esque green tubes, which move to form obstacles. Despite the game’s Nintendo-style graphics and nearly-impossible gameplay, the hook of the app was that characters cannot die, but merely start over — encouraging players to try, try again endlessly. Nintendo, sensing a potential backlash, quickly denied that it had anything to do with the game’s removal.

Tweets from Nguyen himself and fans who spoke with him at the conference confirm that he is definitely going to post the game to the App Store once again, after telling Rolling Stone earlier this month that he was “considering” such a move, with the proviso that the new version would contain break messages to persuade players to put it aside lest too much frustration build up. He told one fan who asked about the timing of the game’s return that its reintroduction would happen, “but not soon.”

He also would not specify any timeframe for the game’s return to the App Store to attendees at the conference. Ads on Craigslist and other sites advertising iPhones with the original Flappy Bird app still on them (those who downloaded the program could continue to use it even after its App Store removal) were seen shortly after the removal with asking prices as high as $2,100.

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