Flappy Bird: The Game That Ruined Its Creators Life

Flappy Bird: The Game That Ruined Its Creators Life

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is this an out of season April Fool's joke mobile gaming it's a bit of a contentious topic these days due to the proliferation of microtransactions and pay2win titles but ten years ago mobile was seen as this exciting new frontier or a Wild Wild West for indie game developers the low barrier to entry with mobile resulted in app stores being flooded with games of varying quality which typically fell within the range of unplayable to mediocre but every now and then a genuinely compelling game would bubble up go viral and make some loan
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developer who coded it in his mom's basement rich in the process today's story finds its basis in that exact premise but rather than a developer's game blowing up being a dream come true for him it turned out to be a bit of a living nightmare for him today I'm going to be talking about the media frenzy that surrounded flappy bird and its creator Dong Nguyen flappy bird released in 2013 was a mobile game that took the world by storm with its simplistic design and addictive gameplay many of you likely remember this game and
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perhaps you even downloaded it and played it at one point but what you probably weren't aware of is the deep and confusing rabbit hole that exists in relation to it and its developer flappy bird was mysteriously pulled from the App Store in February of 2014 when it was reportedly making $50,000 a day leaving many people invested in this situation and this game wondering what exactly happened to the game in its creator well today guys I'm breaking it all down for you this is the story of flappy bird and its enigmatic creator
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Dong Nguyen real quick before we get started I want to thank the ridge for sponsoring today's video they make these sleek metallic wallets that go in your front pocket on the ridge website you'll find the wallets come in various materials from aluminum to titanium to carbon fiber so there's plenty to choose from and there's a plethora of colors to pick from as well I've got a 10% off link in the description box I want you guys to take advantage of that's Ridge comm slash surf and use code surf on their website to save 10% off your order
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and that includes free worldwide shipping so make sure you guys check the rig out and major thanks to them for supporting the channel anyways let's get onto the story the story of flappy bird and Dong Nguyen finds its roots in early 2013 when at the time was a 28 year old indie game developer living with his parents in Hanoi Vietnam when it founded his game development company dot gears all the way back in 2005 when he was 20 years old and he himself had created multiple titles for various platforms through the company though none of his
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early work was successful his games were heavily inspired by many of the punishing 8-bit side-scrollers that were popular in the NES era games that were quick to pick up but required multiple deaths and ria temps to master and complete objectives this style of gameplay had fallen out of vogue in the late 90s and 2000's as many franchises switched over to a more 3d exploration based game design but in the early 2010's punishing 2d side scrollers in retro gaming in general came back into style in a big way and many indie
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developers would find success revisiting this format and amidst this boom of 2d gaming mobile gaming was experiencing its first true gold rush dong win feeling as if mobile made sense as a platform for these easy to pick up hard to master side-scrolling games took a crack at making some compelling 2d titles for the new burgeoning platform and little did he know that one of these mobile games he created would become a worldwide phenomenon sometime in the spring of 2013 Dong Nguyen created a game for the iPhone which he called
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flappy bird making use of a bird character he named fabious scrapped project when developed the game in just three days the game's concept was remarkably simple the player takes control of a bee as he Scrolls across a linear path the player is then required to navigate baby through an endless gauntlet of obstacles which is done by tapping the screen to boost his altitude and ceasing tabs to allow him to descend and as far as gameplay goes that's about as complex as the game gets pretty much
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you try to make it through as many obstacles as possible before you crash and have to restart now gameplay aside there were some overtly derivative visual design choices that dongwan used in developing flappy birds such as this blatant copy/paste job of Super Mario warp pipes being used as the obstacles other more subtle 2d Mario influence can be found including the color palette which is pretty much a direct copy of many of the grassland levels found throughout Mario
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games this juxtaposition between the Super Mario assets and dong wins assets surf to create a bootleg feel for this game but overall the visual aesthetic wasn't too distracting so flappy bird would be published to the iOS App Store in May of 2013 the game was free to download and the only form of monetization came in in-game advertisements after it being released though it received virtually no downloads for the remainder of 2013 it seemed that the game was a complete flop
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but as the new year came around in early 2014 something very curious began to happen in late January the amount of downloads for flappy bird suddenly began to skyrocket seemingly out of nowhere thousands of people began downloading this game and it quickly spread by word of mouth as many mobile games typically do flappy bird became a viral sensation of sorts and has spread would exponentially increase his popular internet celebrities like PewDiePie would make videos talking about the quirky game by the time February had
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come around it was topping the iOS App Store charts in over 100 countries and game critics could not have been more confounded in regards to the game success critics were painting flappy bird across the board for what they said was rudimentary game design and blatant super mario asset ripping its designs appear to have been taken almost directly out of previously existing titles an ultimately flappy bird was a shallow flash-in-the-pan smartphone anomaly that were not going to miss a certain addictive or compulsive quality
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isn't sufficient to make a genuinely good game sadly flappy bird is addictive and compulsive in the same way that popping bubble wrap is addictive and compulsive it may be immediately satisfying to waste your time with the short term but when you look back on how your you'll find yourself wishing you'd use those hours for something more productive or stimulating there were legitimate grounds to criticize flappy bird for its simplistic and derivative design but critics at least were willing to admit this game was hella addictive the surmised addictive nature of flappy
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bird coupled with its rampant spread and popularity served to create a boogeyman reputation for the game within the media leading to an almost Momo like fear mongering campaign which suggested the game may be dangerous for its players flappy bird was being portrayed in the media as this game that was so addictive that if you picked it up just once you would quit your job divorce your wife you know dump all of your life responsibilities just to play this game while this absolutely wasn't the case the game would become
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even more controversial thanks to a barrage of misinformation from the media on February 1st several media outlets were sharing a story which claimed that a 16 year old boy from Chicago had stabbed his brother 17 times in the chest killing him in a flappy bird related altercation the story goes that the older brother was teasing his younger brother after the younger brother couldn't beat his new flappy bird high-score an argument would break out and the older brother was killed in a blind rage this story was shared across multiple online news sites and
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further fueled the flappy bird panic it turns out though that this story was a complete fabrication and was eventually discovered to have been a hoax published by an onion like satirical news website called hustlers dot-com I'm not gonna lie what I came across the article for the first time I took a look at it and I was like yeah I could see this actually happening so I think by now you have a pretty good understanding of the frenzied climate that surrounded flappy bird spread now our story takes a turn inward as we look at the mysterious
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personal life of Dong Nguyen around the time of flappy bird spread the success of his flappy bird game naturally made him a target for the press who sought to question him about flappy bird and is the development many would try to get a correspondence with when none would succeed the man remained elusive only infrequently addressing the public via his Twitter account though taking a look at his Twitter post from this time reveals that the massive success of flappy bird in the media attention that came with it was beginning to wear on
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Dong Nguyen Congrats on the amazing success of flappy bird we'd love to send a few questions over if you had time to answer I'm really sorry I am overloaded now one man cannot handle all of these press people are overrating the success of my games it's something I never want please give me peace and also I'm sorry press people you are not my players to give further context of these tweets in early February the verve had published an article in which they calculated that wind had been making upwards of 50,000
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dollars a day in ad revenue from flappy bird this jaw-dropping amount of income from a simple mobile game would incur the ire from critics and journalists alike the growing sentiment was that win had made himself a rich man off what they considered stealing and Nintendo's intellectual property of course referring to the super mario like assets in flappy bird you know suggesting that nintendo could sue in a vision to this win was also being accused of bahding downloads and reviews on flappy bird in
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its early rise in January of 2014 while this is all speculation and has never been proven the sudden spike in popularity of the game was definitely suspicious hundreds of articles were written about when in a matter of days and eventually this proved to be too much for him to take On February 8th of 2014 as the popularity of flappy bird was at a fever pitch dong win would take to Twitter and tweet out a series of brief statements that shocked everyone I can call flappy bird as a success of
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mine but it also ruins my simple life so now I hate it I'm sorry flappy bird users twenty two hours from now i will take flappy bird down i cannot take this anymore it is not anything related to legal issues i just cannot keep it anymore after tweeting this out wind fell completely silent across all social media and flappy bird was indeed pulled from the app store as promised a day later the media was completely baffled by dog winds decision to pull the app when it was making him so much money and
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the rumor mill quickly began to churn as to the circumstances of why he pulled it the prevailing theory was that when wasn't being truthful about legal issues and he had actually received some sort of DMCA takedown notice from nintendo and if you ask somebody today why flappy bird was removed from the App Store this is likely the explanation that they would tell you but this has actually been proven not to be the case at least according to official statements from Nintendo given to the Guardian On February 11th in response to the question of was Nintendo taking legal
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action against twin Nintendo spokesman yasujiro mini gawa stated while we usually do not comment on the rumors and speculations we have already denied the speculation so with the Nintendo lawsuit theory out of the window everyone was really left scratching their heads wondering what the hell happened despite all the questions though when still remain silent about the issue and left those hoping for an explanation in the dark his silence on this issue even led some theorizing that he had committed suicide in the wake of the media
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harassment and games removal but this wasn't the case eventually after some time had passed and he had done some personal self-reflection dongwan would finally decide to reemerge from the shadows in the form of an interview with Forbes in this interview he describes his rationale for removing flappy bird from the App Store flappy bird was designed to play in a few minutes when you are relaxed 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 so essentially he
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claims he did it for altruistic reasons but in a face-to-face interview that he would do with David Kushner from Rolling Stone he tells a bit of a different story and makes it clear that the overwhelming attention from the media was a major contributing factor News hit of how much money Winn was making his face appeared in the Vietnamese paper and on TV which was how his mom and dad first learned their son had made the game the local paparazzi soon besieged his parents house and he couldn't go out unnoticed while this might seem a small price to pay for such
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fame and fortune for when the attention felt suffocating he couldn't sleep couldn't focus didn't want to go outdoors his parents he says were worried about my well-being when I asked him why he did it he answers with the same conviction that led him to create the game I'm master of my own fate he says independent thinker since taking flappy bird down he says he's felt relief I can't go back to my life before but I'm good now so despite all the rumors and theories floating around that tried to explain
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why he pulled it it turns out in reality that it was really the simplest explanation when couldn't handle all the attention I think many of you watching and even myself to an extent feel that wins decision to pull this app was foolish and some of you might think you would happily accept days upon days of media criticism if it meant you were making $50,000 every 24 hours with that said everyone's different and people value their personal life and personal space and privacy to varying degrees
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when definitely valued his privacy and simple life highly so I can at least understand why he felt giving up his gold mine was worth it if it meant his life went back to a state of normalcy whether you agreed with his decision or not flappy bird in its original form is gone forever and there's no sign of it ever returning the end of flappy bird wouldn't be the end of dong wins career in mobile game development he continues to make games to this day and has had some successful titles along the way such as his 2014 creation swing copters
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and swing copters - in 2015 his projects nowadays get nowhere near the attention is flappy bird and I would imagine this is out when would prefer things to be in conclusion I find it remarkable how this silly mobile game has created such a legacy for itself over the years while there were flappy bird haters out there there was a genuine fan base for this game hardcore flappy bird lovers that hated to see the game go the love for this game can be seen in the countless ripoffs that exists on App Store's as people try to
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recreate the original version or throw some sort of palette or theme swap over it it's a bittersweet story where a hopeful game developer achieves what seems like a dream come true but it turns out to be a living nightmare for him and almost a I created a monster type scenario and in the case of dongwan he was willing to slay that beast if it meant he could have his life back again but that my friends is pretty much the whole story of flappy bird and its creator Dong Nguyen let me know what you thought about this video in the comment
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section and let me know who or what you want me to talk about next major shout outs to my patrons wavy web surf out peace [Music] [Music]

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