Who could have predicted that as of April 2013 a 28-year-old Vietnamese male would have created one of the most addictive games of all time.
No one could have, especially the young man himself.
How Flappy Bird Was Created
Dong Nguyen lived in Hanoi with his parents and his day job was programming the location devices installed in taxis. One weekend whilst on holiday Dong Nguyen created a mobile game that was not only simple but also challenging at the same time, he based his idea on the games that Nintendo created whilst he was a young boy growing up and enjoyed playing. Dong Nguyen produced a bird that was not only bloated, big lipped and bug-eyed but also it then had to fly between successions of vertical pipes that were green. The object of the game was to not only fly the bird between the pipes but to also make the bird fly as high as it could by tapping the screen quickly and in turn making the bird flap its wings and so calling it Flappy Bird.
Flappy Bird Went Live
It was on May 24 that the IOS App Store enabled the game to go live. Now as most people would imagine creating a game such as this would surely generate its creator a lot of money, but Dong Nguyen wanted the game to be free for people to use, but thought that in-game ads would enable him to make a few hundred dollars a month at least.
The problem that Dong Nguyen faced was the enormous amount of new apps that go online each month, so instead of Flappy Bird getting attention, it disappeared in amongst all the other apps, and so it looked as though it would be lost forever – then, eight months later, the strangest thing happened. Dong Nguyen’s game went viral. As of February 2014, Flappy Bird was at the top of the charts in over 100 countries and it was downloaded over 50 million times giving Nguyen an income of $50,000 a day or thereabouts.
With the peak of Flappy mania, the mystery of Nguyen remained. Apart from a tweet every now and then, Nguyen did not really say much about his amazing story. He constantly avoided the press and no one was able to get a photograph of him either. That was when it all started. Nguyen became a con man, a fraud, and people called him a thief. Bloggers joined in and accused him of stealing his artwork from Nintendo. One gaming site went as far as to write a headline that said ‘Flappy Bird Makes $50,000a Day from Ripped Art’.
Then at 2:02 am on February 9th. Hanoi time, the Twitter account that Nguyen had showed a message which read ‘I am sorry ‘Flappy Bird’ users, 22 hours from now, I will take ‘Flappy Bird’ down as I cannot take this anymore’. The disbelieving masses sent his message on Twitter over 145,000 times. Then as promised 22 hours, later Flappy Bird was no longer online, and so the story was over. Which left millions of gamers feeling jilted and the question that everyone had wanted to know was who Dong Nguyen was? Furthermore, what had he gone and done?
First Ever Interview
Until now, Dong Nguyen has never spoken of his huge overnight success, but when approached by the magazine Rolling Stone he decided that it was time that he finally did so, and agreed to give them an interview covering the entire story. The one thing that he could not believe was how something he had created purely for fun and for other people to play had become so popular so quickly.
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