Dong Nguyen, the developer of the insanely popular mobile game Flappy Bird, shocked everyone on Saturday when he suddenly tweeted “I cannot take this anymore” and pulled the game from the app stores.
The game had become a phenom and was reportedly making him $US50,000 per day, Nguyen told The Verge. That’s a dream come true for most game developers.
But in this case, the sudden popularity of the app — coupled with its frustrating, addictive quality — was creating a lot of controversy. The game was simple to play but hard to play well. Tap the screen to keep a bird flying through obstacles. Hit an obstacle and the bird dies. Accrue points by keeping the bird alive as long as possible. (See the game in action, here.)
As the game grew in popularity, game sites started ripping it apart. One blogger accused the developer of tricking the app stores into giving it a high app-store ranking. And then crazy jokes about people committing violence over the game started circulating on the Internet.
Things got so nuts that after Nguyen announced that he was pulling the game, he received an outpouring of death threats and suicide tweets. One woman sent him this photo:
Clearly, most of the threats aren’t serious (and @gocalldapolice later tweeted that the picture was a joke), but still, it sure gives you a sense of what Nguyen meant when he said “I cannot take this anymore.”
Here are more tweets: