What Is Flappy Bird? Sales of Phones With Discontinued App Soar on eBay
Finding the elusive app Flappy Bird might set you back a few bucks — or drive you to bankruptcy. After developer Dong Nguyen deleted the insanely addictive yet frustratingly difficult app from the App Store on Sunday, Flappy Bird eBay postings popped up offering phones with the app already installed on them. And the app appears to be more than just a passing fad for some people. One of the first bids listed on eBay is a white iPhone with the game installed, and it currently has 65 bidders willing to cough up $90,200 for Flappy Bird. The bid started at $750 on Sunday and has since skyrocketed in one day — and there's still 10 hours left on bidding.
Similar eBay bids are up to $2,050 for a black iPhone with Flappy Bird, $700 for an iPad with a Flappy Bird high score of 49, and just $52 for a cracked iPhone 5 with the game installed. Many of the other postings have zero bidders.
So why the heck is everyone freaking out over this silly little game? Let The Verge explain how the app works and why it's so significant:
If you're only now hearing of Flappy Bird, the game goes as follows: you tap the screen to propel a tiny, pixelated bird upwards. If you hit any of the green pipes in your way as you fly towards some unknowable, unreachable finish line, the game is over. The goal is simply to accumulate the highest score possible. The catch? You'll very likely spend an hour even reaching a score of five. The app has been downloaded 50 million times, and has accumulated over 47,000 reviews in the App Store — as many as apps like Evernote and Gmail.
At its peak, Flappy Bird netted about $50,000 a day from in-app ads. That didn't deter its creator to pull the plug on the app, though. Through posts on Nguyen's Twitter feed, it's clear that he thought the game was compromising his credibility as an indie game developer and was stressing him out.
Rumors that Nguyen killed himself spread quickly. Even worse, angry gamers threatened to kill Nguyen or themselves if he took the game away.
Obviously, Nguyen didn't listen.
Before deleting the game, Nguyen hinted at a possible follow-up to the game: "Flappy Bird has reached a state where anything added to the game will ruin it somehow, so I'd like to leave it as is. I will think about a sequel but I'm not sure about the timeline."
R.I.P Flappy Bird. We'll always remember you — until some new app comes along next week and we forget this ever happened.