Dong Nguyen, creator of ‘Flappy Bird’, who drew the world’s attention last weekend with his sudden decision to remove it, exclusevely revealed to Forbes that Flappy Bird is dead. Permanently.
“Flappy Bird was designed to play in a few minutes when you are relaxed,” says Dong Nguyen, in an exclusive interview, his first since he pulled the plug on the app.
“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.”
In taking down world’s most popular app for what he states as altruistic reasons, the Vietnam-born genius is walking away from a jackpot.
An article in the Verge last week estimated his daily take from in-app advertising at $50,000. Nguyen declined to confirm that number. “I don’t know the exact figure, but I do know it’s a lot.”
The circumstances surrounding the interview with Forbes, conducted in Ngyen’s mother language, were as much of a soap opera as his public ruminations about whether to take down the app.
First of all, Nguyen agreed on a little conversation with reporters given that his face would not be showed. But the interviews was delayed several hours, in part because Nguyen had a sudden meeting with Vietnam’s deputy prime minister Vu Duc Dam – a remarkable turn of events for a man who was an ordinary programmer just a week ago.
Nguyen says his parents didn’t even know that he created the game that topped international ranks, much less his role in it, until media coverage spun out of control in the past few days.
“The 29-year-old, who sports a close-cropped haircut, appeared stressed. He smoked several cigarettes over the course of the 45-minute interview, and doodled monkey heads on a pad of paper,” Forbes reports.
In mulling whether to pull Flappy Bird, Nguyen said that it was guilt – atop the fact that “my life has not been as comfortable as I was before” – that motivated him.
“I couldn’t sleep,” he said, adding that his conscience is now much more relieved; as he spent the past few days, Internet-free, catching up on slumber. “I don’t think it’s a mistake,” he says. “I have thought it through.”
We haven’t heard the last of Nguyen. He says he will continue to develop games. “After the success of Flappy Bird, I feel more confident, and I have freedom to do what I want to do.”
When asked whether he wanted to tell disappointed users of the authentic Flappy Bird, Nguyen was concise: “Thank you very much for playing my game.”
Dong Nguyen took to Twitter on Saturday, at 11:02 a.m. PT to announce his plans to take Flappy Bird down in 22 hours, explaining that he “cannot take this anymore.” This news came just a day after the game rolled out an update.