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.”
I am sorry 'Flappy Bird' users, 22 hours from now, I will take 'Flappy Bird' down. I cannot take this anymore.
— Dong Nguyen (@dongatory) February 8, 2014
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.
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.