The Flappy Bird saga continues. Last week, it was revealed that the unassuming little casual game was raking in more than a million dollars per month in advertisement revenue for creator Dong Nguyen and his game company dotGears. Within days of that announcement, Nguyen tweeted that he couldn’t “take it anymore” and pulled the game from the App Store. Nguyen may not have been making money off of the game anymore, but a lot of other people were.
Business Insider weeded through more than 1,000 tweets from Nguyen to try to figure out why the indie game developer would pull a game that was so profitable. Today, Forbes published an exclusive interview with the quiet, yet emotional programmer that revealed a bit about his current state of mind and his true feelings about Flappy Bird.
According to Forbes, Nguyen designed the game to be played over a few minutes at a time while a person was relaxing after work, or waiting for the bus. “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,” Nguyen said.
The article notes a couple of odd facts. For example, Nguyen backs out of his original statement of the game generating $50,000 per day in advertisement revenue. “I don’t know the exact figure, but I do know it is a lot,” he said.
Additionally, the reviewer noted that Nguyen looked “stressed” and smoked several cigarettes during their 45-minute interview. He would not allow the news organization to reveal his face, which is not particularly unusual since the man has received many death threats on Twitter since he pulled the game. He also was called to an impromptu meeting with Vietnam’s deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam just before his scheduled meeting with Forbes, delaying the latter by several hours. The 29-year old also mentioned that his parents didn’t even know Flappy Bird existed until a few days ago, when the game’s popularity spread widely across the world.
Based on tweets from Flappy Bird’s inception until it’s subsequent demise less than a year later, Nguyen was personally affected by what people were saying about his game. Some joked that the game had ruined their lives. Others claimed that they had played the game for more than eight hours at a time. These comments weighed on Nguyen’s conscience and pushed him to make the ultimate decision to pull the game. “I don’t think it’s a mistake,” he says. “I have thought it through.” Flappy Bird will never again appear in its official form on mobile games. However, Nguyen, who has a knack for creating simple casual games, will continue to work on new titles. “After the success of Flappy Bird, I feel more confident, and I have freedom to do what I want to do.”