Sunday, February 9, 2014

Flappy Bird: Opinions from indie developers

My current high score at Flappy Bird
The Flappy Bird game has caused quite a stir over the past couple of weeks among developers and commentators. As what is programmatically pretty much the simplest game that you could possibly write while still legitimately calling it a "game" and having a chance of it being accepted on the App Store in the first place, there has been much speculation (pure accident, good marketing or more devious tactics...?) as to how this "bedroom production" by a lone Vietnamese programmer managed to reach the number 1 spot in the App Store. To add to the rumour mill, it is now left to speculation as to why the app, reportedly earning $50K per day in advertising revenue, was suddenly pulled from the App Store by the developer. (Publicity stunt for his next game? Legal issues with Nintendo due to the alleged similarity between the game's graphics and graphics from early Mario games?)

In this clip from the Apps World conference in San Francisco last week, various indie developers give their reactions and reflect on what can be learnt from the sudden and surprising success of Flappy Bird.

P.S. If the game was making $50K/day from advertising, then my solution to "not being able to handle it" would probably be to take a flight to the beach and leave my phone off the hook for a couple of weeks rather than pulling the game from the App Store... :)

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