Flappy Bird – Analyzing the Popularity

Top of the Charts

There are millions of players all over the world who have given up their work and their social obligations and entered into a nightmarish experience of playing Flappy Bird. They just keep making one more try at this frustrating game known as Flappy Bird. The game is deceptively simple and is totally unoriginal. It is an arcade game that is cruelly difficult, shooting up to the top of the charts during the beginning of this year, effortlessly occupying the top slot of play stores. It was later unceremoniously removed from the play store as a result of controversies over the game. However, you may ask the question: What is the reason for its popularity?

Garnering the No.1 Spot – Delayed Success

Flappy Bird was first released in May 2013 and was not very popular during the initial few months. It had a very low download ranking and even dropped from the charts. During the holidays, it seemed to pick up and became a moderate success. However, in January 2014, it really started picking up and after 8 months of release, in January 2014, it settled in as the number one game on the App Store.

No Promotions

The success of Flappy Bird was totally unexpected and to add to this, it was also a well-known fact that the developer, Dong Nguyen, had claimed that he had done nothing to promote the game in any way. In his interview, Nguyen had stated that he had not made use of any promotional means. In fact, all the accounts on the social media, such as Instagram and Facebook or Twitter were not his and he claimed that his popularity was merely a matter of luck.

Reasons for Popularity

At first, the game seems to be just like an old Java one with simple gameplay, ordinary graphics and an ordinary objective. However, it is the features of the game, or rather the lack of features in the game, that have actually caused it to reach such heights of gaming. Another important factor is that it is a totally score based objective system. Whenever the bird passes by a pipe, you get a point. There are an infinite number of pipes and no other goal. There is no change in the difficulty level and no change in the gameplay. The gaming loop just goes on infinitely.

Free Entry

The Flappy Bird game is free to enter and has no barriers. It is a hundred percent free game for downloading and there are absolutely no purchases to be made within the application. The game occupies only 2.2 MB in the App Store and is very small compared to many other games that are normally 23 MB. It can be very quickly downloaded and one can easily start playing the game within seconds of downloading it. It is possible for practically anyone to play the game. There is only one single action that the game involves and that is to make the bird go high by tapping and make it come down by releasing. Understanding and playing the game is very simple.


What you see is what you get in the game and there is total transparency in the game. The store page shows you directions in three steps with three screenshots and this forms the complete game, without any added features. The game is also very familiar, in terms of its graphics as well as the gameplay. The art in the game has been taken from Super Mario Bros and the gameplay is very similar to The Helicopter Game, which is a very popular game. There is nothing original about the game, but players are attracted to the game because of the nostalgia factor and the familiarity factor provided by Flappy Bird. They probably like being reminded of a past game that they loved and want to try it out again.

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