Why ‘Flappy Bird’ Was Pulled, While Generating $50K in Daily Ad Monies
"Flappy Bird" initially had a quiet start to life, launching in May 2013, and wasn't even promoted by its creator, the 29-year-old Hanoi, Vietnam based, Dong Nguyen.
But hey it's the digital age, and viral is as viral does. So when Swedish Gamer and YouTube phenom PewDiePie (22 million channel subscribers, seriously) —featured it in a rundown of his favorite games -- POW. The video has since been watched 9.8 million times, and helped to propel "Flappy Bird" to the top of the app charts. And you want revenue? Well Flappy Bird was bringing in $50,000 a day in advertising revenue.
I am sorry 'Flappy Bird' users, 22 hours from now, I will take 'Flappy Bird' down. I cannot take this anymore.
— Dong Nguyen (@dongatory) February 8, 2014
So why pull a game that seemed to have reached the Nirvana of app developers worldwide? Dong says it best,"It was just too addictive." He says he didn't intend for people to play the game for hours at a time, as many gamers appear to have done. So p o o f, he pulled the free game from the Apple store and they have officially flapped away from the coop.
But no worries. If you need to get your flap on, you can find versions of the game in stores online. And you can even shell out some cash for an old phone that has the game preloaded.
But what's the marketing takeaway here boys and girls?
Well one, fame ain't for everybody. Being under the microscope with millions of people making comments about your creation can change the way you see the world. Dong said he has virtually disconnected himself from the Internet and hasn't checked his email in days. (shout out if he comes back and decides to read this post).
Two, you don't have to spend huge monies to go viral. Sometimes you get the right influencer, market maker, or celebrity to connect with your creation and it's straight to the moon. Not that you can count on that as a strategy, but it happens. This leads us to our third takeaway.
Be authentic in all you do. Again check out Dong (that's funny) -- he says he spent three days developing Flappy Bird. And it utilizes a distinctive retro style that is simple and compelling. "It is pure. It is all about the game, not about the ornamentation or decoration," he said.
What do you have to say now? Let me know below.