A success story that ends up as fast as it has appeared. A story about a viral mobile app
April 8, 2014
Can you imagine to create something just for fun, no thoughts of success, fame and money, a thing that should bring joy and entertain people when they have free time, but instead you create an addictive product that brings you 50,000$ per day and everyone is talking about on the internet? No, I am not talking about a new synthetic drug, I am talking about “Flappy Bird”, the most downloaded mobile application in the App Store and Google Play market for January that made so much fuss. The application was available for iOS 7 and Android 4.4 KitKat(API level 19).
The idea is very simple – you need to direct a flying bird with a tap on your smartphone’s screen and avoid the oncoming pipes, which gives you one point. If you hit a pipe, you die. Simple, right? The bird is very hard to navigate, so its very frustrating for many players.
The application is created by a 29-Year-Old Vietnamese developer Dong Nguyen in 2013 but only a few months ago it became world-wide famous. Although the popularity of the game is outrageous, Dong Nguyen decided to shut it down and it is no longer available for download in the App or Google Play store, which leads to a situation that people are selling their devices with the installed application on eBay. What can make a person to take that kind of decision? Dong Nguyen says:
“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.”
The young developer from Vietnam also said that he received death threats on Twitter which was another reason to take that decision. A theory on the internet was announced that Nguyen shutted down the application, because Nintendo threatened legal action against him. Why big corporation like Nintendo will sue the young entrepreneur? The reason is that Nguyen’s game looks very much as the popular Nintendo’s game “Super Mario”. This theory is just talk and is not confirmed. Even that the application is not in App Store or Google Play store he is still going to get paid from Flappy Bird. All the people that still have the game on their phones are getting ads served so he hasn’t cut off his supply of cash alltogether. In fact the fiasco with pulling the app maybe is a brilliant marketing strategy. Why? Because everyone knows that mobile games have their rise and falls. Nguyen just speed up the process. Now all eyes are on him and his next application. That’s right he said that he will not stop making mobile apps and millions of users are waiting impatiently.
Meanwhile the applications stores are flooded with clones of “Flappy Bird”. The most successful one is “Splashy Fish”, which rose to number one free app spot fifteen hours after it launched. Pretty impressive right? According to the statistics between 5 and 10 million people per day are playing the “Flappy Bird” substitution.
The conclusion that I made is that the application market is huge(apps revenues for 2013 is nearly $26 billions) and even if you are not a big mobile development studio you can take solid piece of the pie. So take your shot, because maybe you are the next king of the app stores.