Flappy Bird Pulled Because It’s Too ‘Addictive,’ Developer Says

The elusive mastermind was losing sleep over the game.

Attention despondent Flappy Bird fans: Founder Dong Nguyen wasn’t trying to harsh your avian vibe by nixing the popular game — he was worried about your mental health.

“Flappy Bird was designed to play in a few minutes when you are relaxed,” the Vietnamese developer told Forbes, who was not allowed to show Nguyen’s face in their article. “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.”

“My life has not been as comfortable as I was before,” he added, “I couldn’t sleep.”

Flappy Bird is — or was — a relatively straightforward game: Basically, players had to navigate a bird between Super Mario-style water pipes without crashing. The diversion was challenging, however, as the slightest graze of a pipe counted as a crash.

The game had been available for download for iOS and Android devices since May, but was burgeoning in popularity lately, garnering about $50,000 per day for Nguyen, according to The Verge.

“The reason Flappy Bird is so popular is that it happens to be something different from mobile games today, and is a really good game to compete against each other,” Nguyen told the publication.

Given its immense popularity — and Nguyen’s profits — fans were shocked when he decided to pull the game this past weekend, tweeting, “I am sorry ‘Flappy Bird’ users, 22 hours from now, I will take ‘Flappy Bird’ down. I cannot take this anymore.”

Irate fans even threatened Nguyen’s life on Twitter, so it’s not surprising that he told Forbes he’s been spending his post-Flappy time offline.

Other users coped by getting enterprising, attempting to sell phones featuring the game on eBay for thousands of dollars and, in the case of Fall Out Boy, creating their own versions.

Apparently, however, we haven’t seen the last of the elusive developer, who has a few other (less addictive) games to his name.

“After the success of Flappy Bird, I feel more confident, and I have freedom to do what I want to do,” he told Forbes.

Brenna Ehrlich is a reporter for MTV News as well as the senior writer/editor for the O Music Awards. In the past, she served as associate editor at Mashable, penned a netiquette column for CNN and co-authored the blog and book "Stuff Hipsters Hate." She likes trying not to die in moshpits and listening to songs on repeat. Follow her on Twitter @BrennaEhrlich for news on cats and punk bands.