Flappy Bird is a 2013 mobile game, developed by Vietnam-based developer Nguyễn Hà Đông (Dong Nguyen) and published by .GEARS Studios, a small, independent game developer also based in Vietnam. The game is a side-scroller where the player controls a bird, attempting to fly between rows of green pipes without coming into contact with them. The developer created the game over several days, using a bird protagonist which he had designed for a cancelled game in 2012.
The game was released on May 24, 2013 but received a sudden rise in popularity in early 2014. It was criticized for its level of difficulty and alleged plagiarism in graphics and game mechanics, while other reviewers found it addictive. At the end of January 2014, it was the most downloaded free game in the iOS App Store. During this period, its developer claimed that Flappy Bird was earning $50,000 a day from in-app advertisements as well as sales.
Flappy Bird was removed from both Apple’s App Store and Google Play by its creator on February 10, 2014, due to guilt over what he considered to be its addictive nature and overuse. The game’s popularity and sudden removal caused phones with it pre-installed to be put up for sale for high prices over the Internet. Games similar to Flappy Bird became popular on the iTunes App Store in the wake of its removal, and both Apple and Google have removed games from their app stores for being too similar to the original. The game has also been distributed through unofficial channels on multiple platforms.