Vietnamese app developer sets Guinness Record with now-defunct Flappy Bird
At the end of January 2014, Flappy Bird was the most downloaded free game on App Store.
It is, however, the removal of the addictive app that actually earned the Hanoi-based man the world record.
Flappy Bird, which was downloaded by at least 50 million people worldwide and which was ‘killed’ by its creator on February 10, 2014, was “the first app to be withdrawn after topping the Apple App Store chart,” according to the Guinness Book of World Records 2016.
Dong Nguyen said on his Facebook page on Sunday that it is a record that “doesn’t make any sense,” but “honestly, to [him] it's still a life achievement.”
The 31-year-old also created a Life event on his Facebook, titling it “Got a Guinness World Record for Flappy Bird.”
Dong Nguyen released the addictive Flappy Bird on May 24, 2013, but the game would only become popular worldwide in early 2014.
At the end of January 2014, it was the most downloaded free game on App Store.
In a screen grab of a page of the 2016 edition of the Guinness World Records, seen by , Flappy Bird is described as a “phenomenally successful” mobile app that netted its creator “$50,000 a day in advertising revenue at its peak.”
But Dong “soon [became] disturbed with how hooked on the game players were becoming,” which led to his pulling the app from the Internet, according to the page.
“Flappy Bird was designed to play for a few minutes when you are relaxed. But it happened to become an addictive product. I think it has become a problem,” the Guinness report said, citing an interview Dong had with .
After Dong tweeted about his planned removal of Flappy Bird, the app received 10 million downloads in the last 22 hours of its life, according to the Guinness book. After its demise, mobile phones pre-loaded with the game sold for thousands on eBay.
Now in its 62nd year of publication, the Guinness World Records is a reference book published annually, listing world records, both human achievements and the extremes of the natural world. The book itself holds a world record, as the best-selling copyrighted book of all time.
After removing Flappy Bird, Dong resurrected the game in August 2014 and renamed it Flappy Birds Family, which could only be played on Amazon Fire TV. Later that same month, the developer introduced Swing Copters, considered a Flappy Bird sequel.
The new game was expected to be Dong’s second hit of 2014, but it failed to find fame. In late 2015, Dong released Swing Copters 2 and this version of the game appears to be more attractive to gamers worldwide than its predecessor.
Dong currently runs .GEARS, a game studio he founded in 2006 and which has recently announced its co-development deal with Japan’s OBOKAIDEM on a to be released later this year.
Even though he is a household name in the world’s mobile game industry, Dong rarely speaks to the media in Vietnam.
The developer grabbed national headlines on December 22, when he had an with Google CEO Sundar Pichai at a sidewalk café in Hanoi, during a private trip to Vietnam by the Indian-born technology executive.
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