Flappy Bird Creator Says the Game Ruined His Life

Photo by Kevin Malik

It’s been a decade since the world bid farewell to Flappy Bird, the addictive mobile game that captivated millions. A lot of people claim the addictive nature of the game had a negative impact on their lives, but no one makes that claim quite as much as the creator, Nguyen Ha Dong, who says Flappy Bird ruined his life.

The Controversy

Initially launched in 2013, Flappy Bird skyrocketed to fame, generating over $50,000 a day in advertising revenue at its peak. Dong, the mastermind behind the game, enjoyed the initial success, splurging on luxuries and celebrating with friends. However, the rapid rise to stardom soon turned sour. Accusations of plagiarism, relentless paparazzi attention, and the game’s addictive nature took a toll on Dong’s mental well-being. Users flooded him with messages detailing their obsession with Flappy Bird, some even claiming it had ruined their lives. Teachers and parents expressed concerns over its detrimental effects on children. Paparazzi stalked Dong, and the creator was accused of faking positive online reviews about his game.

Why it No Longer Exists

Feeling overwhelmed and burdened by guilt, Dong made the difficult decision to remove Flappy Bird from app stores in 2014. He acknowledged the game’s success but lamented its impact on his life, confessing that he hated it. In fact, the programmer once Tweeted, “I can call ‘Flappy Bird’ is a success of mine. But it also ruins my simple life. So now I hate it.”

Photo by Katerina Holmes

Since then, Dong has largely retreated from the public eye, focusing on quieter pursuits. He is reportedly working on a new game, he acknowledges that replicating the success of Flappy Bird is unlikely. Despite this, he remains hopeful about the future, albeit with realistic expectations.