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Flappy Bird phenomenon: Clones make up a third of new iOS games

Really, what did Flappy Birds start? Several weeks after the game was pulled from various app stores for being too darn popular and apparently ruining the life of its harassed creator, endless imitations are continuing to flood the iTunes app store, with a Guardian report this week claiming that of the 300 new games that landed in the online store Thursday, 95 were Flappy Bird-inspired. Yes, that’s almost a third.

Earlier this month, as the whole world seemed to be going Flappy Bird crazy, it appeared that Apple’s app store team had decided to start rejecting Flappy Bird-like games, with some developers saying their copycat efforts had been blocked for their “attempts to leverage a popular app.” But with 95 similar games landing in the store in the space of just a single day, it seems like Apple’s app checkers have buckled in the face of endless submissions of Flappy Bird rip-offs.

Floppy Spongy, Flappy Monsters, Flying Rainbow Cat….

Names of the clones range from the amusing to the absurd, among them Tappy Bieber, Easy Flappy Penguin, Flying Rainbow Cat, Flappy Monsters, Annoying Flappy Fly, My Fat Flying Dragon, Paper Bird, Flappy Love, Flapping Ninja, Flappy Kitty, Floppy Spongy, and my personal favorite, Flappy Beard Hipster Quest.

Whether any of them make it big is anyone’s guess, though with plenty of Flappy Bird-type games still populating the iTunes app charts – including Flappy Wings which at the time of writing sits in the top spot – perhaps one or two of them have a chance of taking off.

The original Flappy Bird game, which launched in May last year, was the work of Vietnam-based Dong Nguyen. Apparently unable to cope with the growing attention the super-simple game was bringing him, he pulled it from the iTunes app store and Google Play earlier this month, tweeting at the time, “I cannot take this anymore.”

This only brought the game more attention, except that at that stage anyone curious to try it could no longer download it. Then things all went a bit weird, with reports of an ‘RIP Flappy Bird’ T-shirt selling for $10,000, and an iPhone 5S with Flappy Bird installed offered on eBay for $100,000.

And with almost a hundred Flappy Bird-style games landing in the iOS app store each day, it seems we, or at least, mobile game developers, are not over this Flappy Bird thing by a long way.