HANOI – The Hanoi developer who removed his “Flappy Bird” game from app stores after becoming a global sensation and earning as much as $50,000 a day experienced the kind of success few individual programmers encounter.
Nguyen Ha Dong, creator of the difficult game with a simple design that shot to the top of the most-popular download rankings, removed “Flappy Bird” from Apple and Google online stores last weekend. He said in a Twitter message that the game “ruins my simple life.”
Dong’s success, viewed as an anomaly by industry insiders, could be a boost to Vietnam’s fledgling community of developers in an industry where revenue almost doubled in three years.
“This is the success story the country needed,” said Than Trong Phuc, managing director of technology-focused investment fund DFJ VinaCapital LP in Ho Chi Minh City. “The money from Silicon Valley will come. It will come looking for the next ‘Flappy Bird’ — or the ‘Flappy Bird’ developer himself.”
The success of “Flappy Bird” is almost unprecedented for an independent developer as the game ranked first or second for free apps around the world, said Ouriel Ohayon, a Silicon Valley venture capitalist and co-founder of Appsfire SAS. “I have seen hundreds of games and I have never, never seen anything like this,” Ohayon said. “I think he’s a regular guy who just won the lottery.”