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Success killed Flappy Bird

Flappy Bird

Flappy Bird has become one of the most amazing games of all times. It is not because of its gameplay or art. Neither the story, nor the graphics. Flappy Bird won its place in the video games history due to an unbelievable marketing campaign that no one started.

The game was published in May 2013, altough it became famous in January. In January 13rd, the game rose to the first place in the iTunes ranking. Some people estimated that the in-game advertisment was generating about $50,000 per day.

However, despite the good numbers, developer of Flappy Bird, Dong Nguyen, pulled it from the stores last monday. He announced that with a tweet.

A few days later, he explained that he decided to ‘kill’ the game because it was too addictive.

«Flappy Bird was designed to play in a few minutes when you are relaxed,» Nguyen said.

«But it happened to become an addictive product. I think it has become a problem. To solve that problem, it’s best to take down Flappy Bird. It’s gone forever.»

You can read the complete story in Mashable. They have done a great job reconstructing the last four weeks of the game.

The Flappy Bird story left us many unanswered questions. First of all, why anyone would shutdown such a profitable bussiness? Is Nguyen really worried about the players and their addictions? Is there anything else we don’t know?

But the BIG question, the mother of all question about Flappy Bird is, How did the game become so popular?

Zach Williams made some numbers with the iTunes reviews of Flappy Bird. He found out that on January 9th the game got 90 reviews in one day. But, by the 17th the game hit 400 reviews a day. The numbers suggest that Nguyen used bots to promote his game, but he states that he did no promotion.

The game became popular in Reddit and the famous youtuber PewDiePie recorded a video of himself playing the game. This two things help spred the word without a doubt, but, and here is a new question,  were actually Reddit and PewDiePie responsibles for the succes of the game?

The Flappy Bird story leaves us with a bunch of questions, some interesting questions indeed. And it taught all of us a very valuable lesson: succes can be a problem.

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