Flappy Bird, the latest smash-hit mobile game to take the world by storm has been removed from both Google Play and the Apple App Store by its creator. In its wake, a new game has emerged called Ironpants, another free indie game that offers similar mechanics to Flappy Bird’s, but made by a different developer.

Flappy Bird’s creator, Dong Nguyen, has been tweeting since last week already how the game’s success has played havoc with his life, culminating in a tweet that went out on Saturday that promised the game would be taken down on Sunday the 9th of February.

True to his word, Flappy Birds is no longer available from the Google Play Store or Apple’s App Store as of Sunday the 9th of February.

The exact reasons for taking the game down, or the issues that led to Nguyen’s feelings on the matter, are not clear. The only further detail Nguyen shared on Twitter about it was that he wasn’t taking it down for legal reasons, and nor would he be selling it to another developer.

 

Flappy Birds rose to infamy in the last two months thanks to its frustrating-yet-addictive gameplay that has gamers trying to get a bird through a series of gaps in cartoon pipes, using only the timing of their screen presses (which make the bird flap its wings) to do it. It was originally released in 2013, but rose to fame in early 2014 thanks to viral stories appearing on Buzzfeed and the many YouTube tutorials that hit the web in the wake of its release.

Flappy Bird has been accused of being a “clone” (a game that borrows gameplay mechanics and graphics from other games, most notably the pipes and pixel-art of the early Mario games), but despite that it has racked up millions of downloads on both the App Store and the Google Play Store. While it’s free to play, it is supported by advertising which reportedly earned its creator $50,000 a day.

While Nguyen’s reasons for taking the game down may not make much sense – it was, after all, successful – the fact remains, it’s gone. Ironpants will have to do, for now.

Deon got his first taste of PC gaming at the tender age of 11 when his father bought an 8088 XT, ostensibly to "help him with his homework". Instead, it introduced him to Leisure Suit Larry, King Graham, Sonny Bonds and many more, and Deon has been a PC gamer and hardware enthusiast ever since. He landed his first professional writing gig in 2006 at a prestigious local PC magazine, a very happy happenstance as he got to write for a living about things he loves - tech, PCs, gaming, and everything in between. He's been writing about it all ever since, and loves every minute of it.