Flappy Bird, the popular app which was yanked from the App Store at the height of its popularity earlier this year, is almost ready to fly again. Dong Nguyen, the creator of the app who claimed to be making $50,000 per day and took the app down due to what he said was guilt over the manner in which the game was taking over people’s lives, now says he’ll be putting the app back in action. But after a multi-month absence, has Dong already cooked his golden goose?
Can Flappy Bird soar to new heights? Once an addictive smartphone game becomes popular through word of mouth, the length of time it can remain that way before the bubble bursts is still open for debate. Angry Birds, for instance, is still managing to milk its initial popularity nearly five years after first launching. But that’s been achieved through a steady stream of updates, new levels, entire new sequel games and spinoffs, even movie tie-ins. If Flappy Bird had remained in the App Store, would it have become a mainstay by now, or would its seeming one-trick gameplay have worn thin and faded away by now?
More importantly, with Flappy Bird not returning until August, there’s no way for Dong to know for sure whether the prolonged absence will affect those who had previously been addicted to it. In the days after it first disappeared, the App Store and Google Play were flooded with copycats of varying degrees of blatancy, some of which shot straight to the top of the sales charts. Many of those apps have since been removed due to policy violations, making it difficult to measure the true strength of the remaining demand for a Flappy Bird comeback. Nonetheless, Dong will get his answer one way or the other this summer.