The Short Rise and Fall of Flappy Bird
Just a few weeks ago, Flappy Bird was the #1 free app in the App Store - played by millions of users and talked about by the majority of tech/gaming websites. Its extremely simple “one-touch” gameplay frustrated players with its extreme difficulty, yet it retained an addictiveness reminiscent to the 8-bit console gaming days.
Unfortunately, the game’s Vietnamese developer, Dong Nguyen didn’t appreciate the fact that people were becoming so addictive to his game, and had trouble coping with the amount of press Flappy Bird was receiving - so he took it down from the App Store earlier this week. Since then, a slew of copycats have made an App Store appearance and iPhones preloaded with the game started appearing on eBay (the company has since taken the listings down).
One of the biggest conversation pieces about Flappy Bird to come out of the game industry has been “How did it become so successful out of nowhere?”. VentureBeat recently put together a good article, outlining the viral recipe that made Flappy Bird a success which can be read here. Brian Peterson from GamaSutra also voiced his opinion on how the game became #1 on the App Store, take a look at that article here. Regardless of who enjoyed and hated the game, Flappy Bird was a great example of how a simple game can be so successful - important information for game developers.
Why Indie Developers go Insane
Flappy Bird’s short life ended because its developer couldn’t handle the amount of varying press and addictiveness. Last year, the sequel to wildly popular Fez was canceled by its developer out of nowhere. Both Dong Nguyen and Phil Fish have voiced superficial reasons for dropping their respective games, but what is it exactly that drives developers to this state of being?
Indie game developer Jeff Vogel explains why “developers go insane” in this article on Gamasutra, as several factors come into play including stress, negative PR and general life balance. It’s an article worth reading that many developers can probably relate to.