A lot of Flappy Bird clones have launched since the game exploded then got yanked from mobile app stores.
But no clone has been more successful than Splashy Fish.
Splashy Fish rose to the number one free app spot fifteen hours after it launched. It has held a top position ever since, although today it’s battling against another Flappy Bird clone, “Flying Cyrus.”
Italy’s Massimo Guareschi is the founder of Splashy Fish. He says it took three days to build and his nephews — who were Flappy Bird fans — inspired the game. Guareschi, says 5 — 10 million people play Splashy Fish daily and about 250 million games are played per day. Flappy Bird, by comparison, had about 50 million total downloads just before it was removed and was generating ~ $US50,000 per day. It’s unclear how many daily active users it had.
Like Flappy Bird, Splashy Fish encourages users to bob up and down by tapping their smart phone’s screen then swim through obstacles.
We asked Guareschi all about his hit app. Here’s the lightly edited Q&A, which was conducted via email:
BUSINESS INSIDER: How long did did the game take from inception to going live in app stores? I assume the inspiration was Flappy Bird’s success.
MASSIMO GUARESCHI: 3 people have been working full-time for 3 days. Flappy Bird has obviously been a good inspiration but, as a matter of fact, the game was born from my nephew’s idea: They were playing [Flappy Bird] and used to ask me for better features in order to improve the game. That’s where the idea of Splashy Fish comes from.
BI: What day specifically did it launch, and how long did it take to become number one in the app store?
MG: It was launched on the 11th February at midnight PST and in about 15 hours it become number one in the Apple Store.
BI: What is Splashy Fish doing right to be the top Flappy Bird spin-off out there?
MG: Me and my colleagues tried to focus our attention to little peculiarities, in fact we added many features that our players appreciated: We added 5 trophies to make the game more challenging and to personalise the fish and we used appealing sound effects. I remind you that other cool updates have still to come.
BI: How many people are playing the game per day?
MG: Between 5 and 10 million people per day.
BI: How many games are played per day?
MG: About 250 million games per day.
BI: How much money does Splashy Fish generate per day and month?
MG: Splashy Fish reached a success above our expectations but actually it is in line with the speed growth of “redBit games”. I am the co-founder of this company which in less than one year produced other games of big success such as Haunted Manor – The Secret of the Lost Soul (over one million downloads), Haunted Manor 2 – The Horror Behind the Mystery which had 1.5 million downloads and Cookie Clickers, a game that had over 10 million downloads.
BI: Has Apple or Google reached out to Splashy Fish and complained that it’s too much like Flappy Bird? Will Splashy Fish have to change its name or concept to stay in the mobile app stores?
We have had no complaints from Google or Apple since our game was released. At the moment we are in contact with Apple only regarding a few clarifications about the name of the game. We remind you that the name of our game is Splashy Fish and redBit games already registered the trademark according to standard procedures.
BI: Have been in contact with the Flappy Bird creator?
No, we had no contacts with him yet but we would love to get in touch with him. We have a very good opinion of him as a games developer and we would very much like to have Flappy Bird back in the App Stores.