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Gamers big losers in the flap over ‘Flappy Bird’

Written by: Joseph Albahari

Sometimes, what is created must also be destroyed.

Flappy Bird, one of the most downloaded games of 2014 across IOS, Windows and Android marketplaces has been removed this week at the request of its creator.

Created by Dong Nguyen and developed by DotGears Studios, Flappy Bird was first released in May of 2013, but the game did not reach stardom until late January of 2014.

The game’s concept is pretty simple−tap to fly. As the player taps the screen, the bird flies up and down dodging pipes to gain points; once you accumulate enough points, you earn a medal.

The game’s popularity stemmed from its repetitive nature, the difficulty of success and the want for bragging rights from the player.

On Feb. 8, Nguyen took to Twitter to address the fans (and enemies) of his game; but instead of answering questions, he admitted that due to recent popularity and negative comments toward him he has come to hate the game.

Later that day, Nguyen tweeted, “I am sorry ‘Flappy Bird’ users, 22 hours from now, I will take ‘Flappy Bird’ down. I cannot take this anymore.”

Keeping his word, the app was removed from all app marketplaces. Users who already downloaded the app will be able to play it, but anyone who missed the fad will never get to experience it on his or her device−unless, of course, they are willing to pay top dollar for the Flappy Birds experience.

Immediately after the app’s removal, iPhone users were listing their phones on eBay at outrageous starting prices ranging from $500 and $600 to as high as $90,000.

While the game was on the market, Nguyen revealed that he received a “few hundred” death threats on a daily basis via Twitter. He would sarcastically and creatively reply to most of them.

In an interview with Forbes Magazine, Nguyen explained why he suddenly removed the app.

“Flappy Bird was designed to play in a few minutes when you are relaxed, but it happened to become an addictive product,” Nguyen said. “I think it has become a problem. To solve that problem, it’s best to take down Flappy Bird. It’s gone forever.”

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