Talking tech since 2003

That Dong Nguyen.  Tortured developer or brilliant marketer?  Perhaps it’s a bit of both.  The thing is, prior to our report on Saturday that Flappy Bird would be pulled from the App Store permanently, I had yet to download the chart topping game.  And honestly, I can say with pretty much absolute certainty I would have never downloaded it if it remained in the App Store for the rest of eternity.  But that’s the thing–soon it wouldn’t be in the App Store anymore, soon I would never get the chance to have it on my own iPhone/iPad.  Unless of course I acted quickly and downloaded it right at that very moment–so I did, I couldn’t help it.  I had to have it.

I started to play the game that everyone was raving about, I saw the appeal.  It’s truly addicting.  On my plane ride home from London yesterday I spent a good chunk of time playing Flappy Bird and the analogy that I came up with is that the game is like playing a slot machine.  It’s quick, press a button and you’re off, and despite it being incredibly hard to do well you are always left thinking that next time you have a chance to win big. Thankfully with Flappy Bird you aren’t losing any money.

I know there are others like me out there, who only downloaded the game because they saw it was going away, forever.  No one wants to miss out on something that’s achieved such a cultural significance.  That’s why the decision to remove the app was shared 24 hours prior to the actual removal, so people like me would go ahead and click “Download.” The other thing is that now Flappy Bird lives on in our minds as the greatest thing instead of fading out.  Future releases by Mr. Nguyen will be widely downloaded no questions asked.

When Sunday evening rolled around true to Mr. Nguyen’s word Flappy Bird was no longer in the App Store, only to live on in each of our smartphones/tablets to the lucky ones who did download it.

By the way, when the plane landed the guy next to me whipped out his iPhone and started playing Flappy Bird.  And he was crushing it, when he finally died (after what seemed like a full minute) I turned and said to him, “Wow you’re really good!” to which he looked at me, pointed to his buddy next to him and said, “He’s better.”  No joke.

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