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Developer Dong Nguyen of dotGears followed through on his warning yesterday and has removed the free game Flappy Bird from the app stores. The tap-to-play release was the No. 1-ranked free title on both iOS and Google Play, but Nguyen said in a tweet on Saturday that “I cannot take this anymore.”
This is an unprecedented move for a No. 1 app. Flappy Bird reportedly had more than 50 million downloads, most of those in the past couple of weeks. Nguyen, a lone developer in Hanoi, Vietnam, made the app. At first, he seemed to enjoy his good fortune and tweeted frequently. But he also got a lot of criticism, in part because the pipes in the game looked a lot like they came from a Nintendo Mario game.
He didn’t elaborate much on his decision to remove the title, except to say it wasn’t for legal reasons. But he previously expressed frustration about all of the criticism and accusations he had been receiving.
In taking the game down, he’ll be giving up an estimated $50,000 a day that he was generating in revenue from in-app advertisements.
In a tweet last week he said, “Please give me peace.” Those who have already downloaded the app can still play it. But it is gone from both the iOS and Google Play stores. The description still shows up in the stores, but it is unavailable for download.