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Gamers in a flap as Vietnamese dev pulls Flappy Bird

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The Vietnamese developer of hugely popular smartphone game Flappy Bird hit the self-destruct button on the title over the weekend after complaining that it had ruined his life.

In a message that has now been retweeted over 135,000 times, Hanoi-based Dong Nguyen wrote in a Twitter post on Saturday: “I am sorry 'Flappy Bird' users, 22 hours from now, I will take 'Flappy Bird' down. I cannot take this anymore.”Sure enough, the game, which was top of the App Store and Google Play Store charts for a month, had disappeared from both platforms before the weekend was out. Previous posts on the microblog seemed to hint that the game had become something of an albatross for Nguyen, despite earning him a reported $50,000 a day in ad revenue. He claimed in one message that people were “overusing” the game. Another had an even more downbeat tone:

Dong may be referring to accusations that the free game, which has been downloaded over 50 million times this year, heavily borrowed from other titles like Mario and Helicopter.

Nguyen claimed his decision “is not anything related to legal issues”. “People are overrating the success of my games. It is something I never want. Please leave me in peace,” he pleaded in another post.

Despite being around since mid-2013, the title didn’t get any traction for a full six months before pick-up on social media catapulted it to a position as 2014's most successful smartphone game.

Part of the game's appeal is that it is insanely hard. Many players struggle to score a single point. That hasn't stopped one developer resurrecting the game with an open source remake. ®

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