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Should Apple allow ‘Flappy Bird’ developer to bring his game back to the app store?

This post has not been edited by the GamesBeat staff. Opinions by GamesBeat community writers do not necessarily reflect those of the staff.

Flappy Bird is coming back to Apple’s App Store, so says the Twitter account of the game’s developer, Dong Nguyen. In answer to Robert @painfulpacman, who asked if Nguyen planned to put Flappy Bird back on the app store, the controversial creator replied, “Yes. But not soon.”

The return of the supposedly addictive game that was at the center of a whirlwind of speculation when it was taken down from the app store by Nguyen – who reportedly made as much as $50,000 per day in advertising revenue – might not happen at all, at least not under the same name.

First, a little Flappy Bird backstory…

Flappy Bird might have remained a popular app floating around the app store, save for the talk that arose surrounding artwork that seemed to exactly replicate that of other games. In the wake of those accusations, Nguyen pulled the game down, claiming the popularity and all that attention was causing him stress. He also claimed the game was too addictive.

No one knows the real reasons, but in the wake of the game going bye-bye, folks began to pay crazy amounts – like $8,000 for a 16GB iPad Mini – for devices that still had the game loaded.

After not speaking out for some time, Nguyen gave a compelling interview to Rolling Stone that disclosed the fact that he was considering letting Flappy Bird fly once more, and with his recent Twitter admission, we now have further proof that the elusive and interesting developer could very well be in the process of bringing Flappy Bird back. The question is: Will Apple relax their rules and allow him to do so?

Getting past Apple’s Terms of Service

As Venture Beat noted, Apple’s rules state that Nguyen gave up his rights to the oh-so-popular Flappy Bird name when he deleted it from the app store. In the meantime, Mobile Media Partners snapped up the name and even has a pending trademark on the name. However, with Nguyen’s saga containing all the rumored drama surrounding this now-you-play-it, now-you-don’t app being so well known, one wonders if his case won’t take a different path and find Apple allowing him to use the name once more.

Time will indeed tell, but there’s no need to feel overly sorry for Nguyen in the wake of the melee. Those who assume that his entire income left when he deleted the game from the app store can rest assured in knowing that those millions of people who downloaded Flappy Bird – including the 10 million who downloaded it in the 22 hours after he warned via Twitter he would remove the game – are still creating tens of thousands of dollars for Nguyen, so writes David Kushner of Rolling Stone.

Therefore, the chain-smoking 28-year-old computer whiz from Vietnam is already busy creating new apps called Kitty Jetpack and Checkonaut, plus a cowboy type of shooter game. Perhaps they’ll all appear in the app store next to Flappy Birds one day – but whether the latter will be attributed to Nguyen or someone else remains to be seen.


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