What happened to Flappy Bird?

Flappy Bird is a mobile, arcade-style side-scroller game where players endeavor to fly birds between green pipes without hitting them.

The game was created by Vietnamese programmer and video game artist Dong Nguyen in 2013.

Flappy Bird was an instant success, surpassing 50 million downloads in the first few days after its release and earning Nguyen over $50,000 per day in advertising revenue.

In February 2014, however, Flappy Bird was removed from the App Store and Google Play despite becoming the most downloaded free game for iOS the previous month.

Negative reviews

Despite its popularity, the game was not immune from negative reviews. Some criticized Flappy Birds for its extreme difficulty level, while others believed Nguyen had blatantly copied ideas from the Mario Bros franchise.

However, there was no evidence that Flappy Birds infringed on any copyrights.

It was also alleged that Nguyen had purchased installs from bot farms to make the game appear more popular than it was.

But when one considers the advertising revenue he collected, this seems unlikely.


In early 2014, Nguyen announced he would be shutting Flappy Bird down forever: “Flappy Bird was designed to play in a few minutes,” he said in an interview with Forbes.

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 was also apparent that the creator was uncomfortable with the sudden fame he was exposed to.

Nguyen was bombarded with interview requests from national and international news outlets and even appeared on television in Vietnam. 

Of course, Flappy Birds remained available to play on smartphones that had downloaded the app before it was pulled.

Some of these phones were placed on auction sites to be sold off before they, too, were removed for violations.


Six months after Flappy Birds was shut down, a game called Flappy Birds Family appeared in the Amazon Appstore for Fire TV.

Amazon confirmed that the multiplayer version of the game was from the same developer, though it did not disclose whether any money changed hands.

Wisconsin-based electronics firm Bay Tek Entertainment then released an arcade version of the original game in 2015 on a 42-inch screen with a single, giant red button to control each bird. 

Key takeaways:

  • Flappy Bird is a mobile, arcade-style side-scroller game where players endeavor to fly birds between green pipes without hitting them. The game was created by Vietnamese programmer and video game artist Dong Nguyen in 2013.
  • Flappy Birds was ultimately shut down because Nguyen was uncomfortable with the game’s addictiveness and did not enjoy the increased attention he received from the press. 
  • A family edition of Flappy Birds reappeared in the app store for Amazon Fire TVs a few months later, with the eCommerce giant confirming that it was from the same developer. An official arcade version was also released in 2015.

Read More:

Other Failure Stories

What Happened to WeWork

WeWork is a commercial real estate company providing shared workspaces for tech start-ups and other enterprise services. It was founded by Adam Neumann and Miguel McKelvey in 2010. WeWork’s business model was built on complex arrangements between the company and its landlords. There were also several conflicts of interest between Neumann and WeWork, which provided the impetus for the failed IPO and significant devaluation that would follow.

What Happened to Netscape

Netscape – or Netscape Communications Corporation – was a computer services company best known for its web browser. The company was founded in 1994 by Marc Andreessen and James H. Clark as one of the internet’s first and most important start-ups. The Netscape Navigator web browser was released in 1995 and became the browser of choice for the users of the time. By November 1998, it had been acquired by AOL, which tried unsuccessfully to revive the popularity of the web browser. Ten years later, Netscape was shut down entirely.

What Happened to Musical.ly

Musically, or Musical.ly as it is officially known, was a Chinese social media platform headquartered in Shanghai. After passing 200 million users in May 2017, the platform was shut down by tech company ByteDance in November. After its acquisition, ByteDance suggested Musical.ly would continue to operate as a standalone platform. Company representatives noted that it would be able to leverage ByteDance’s AI technology and enormous reach in the Chinese market. Musically was ultimately absorbed into TikTok in June 2018, with the app no longer available in August of the same year. Existing users were offered technical support and several new features as a sweetener.

What Happened to Vine

Vine was an American video social networking platform with a focus on looping video clips of six seconds in length, founded by Dom Hofmann, Rus Yusupov, and Colin Kroll in 2012 to help people capture casual moments in their lives and share them with their friends. Vine went on to become a massively popular platform. Yet by 2016, Twitter discontinued the mobile app, allowing users to view or download content on the Vine website. It then announced a reconfigured app allowing creators to share content to a connected Twitter account only. This marked the end of Vine.

What Happened to CNN Plus

CNN Plus was a video streaming service and offshoot of CNN’s cable TV news network that was launched on March 29, 2022. The service was ultimately shut down just one month after it was launched. Trouble began for the platform when parent company WarnerMedia merged with Discovery. The latter was unimpressed with paltry viewer data and, with $55 billion in debt to clear, was not interested in funding CNN+ moving forward. Other contributing factors to CNN Plus’s demise include a lack of compelling content and streaming service market saturation.

What Happened to Clubhouse

Clubhouse is a social app that allows thousands of people to communicate with each other in audio chat rooms. At one point, the company was worth $4 billion and boasted users such as Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk. Clubhouse declined because it rode the wave of pandemic lockdowns and suffered when people resumed their normal routines. The decision to remove the invite-only feature also caused a rapid influx of new members and removed any exclusivity. Clubhouse management also failed to define a business model and was unaware of the components of a successful social media site.

What Happened to Facebook

Scroll to Top