The little Flappy Bird that could has somehow conquered the App Store. The simple one touch arcade game has been sitting at the top of the free app charts for days now even though it didn’t gain momentum until six months after its release. Now, it has become a phenomena that seemingly anyone who uses the App Store has played. It’s quite extraordinary how such a simple game that borrows art assets from Super Mario Bros, includes a wacky physics engine, and lacks consistency in the way the bird moves, could reach such heights. It’s an exceedingly difficult game with a majority of the challenge generated by such poor design that makes for an intense experience with jarring deaths.
Flappy Bird is free to download, and simply includes ads as the only monetization, so there’s no in-app purchases. Even with the simple scheme, Flappy Bird is able to bring in about $50,000 per day from ad revenue according to developer Dong Nguyen in his interview with The Verge. Flappy Bird has seen over 50 million downloads across iOS and Android, and now has over 600,000 reviews on the App Store, while maintaing a four star score. The game would benefit from an in-app purchase to remove ads, and a quick restart button on the game over screen. Ads are it though as Nguyen describes,
I want to make an ads-based game because it is very common in the Japanese market — minigames are free and have ads … Flappy Bird has reached a state where anything added to the game will ruin it somehow, so I’d like to leave it as is.
Flappy Bird (Free, Universal) is absolutely raking in the dough, and the developer’s other two games are now charting highly as well. Even the Flappy Bird rip-off Ironpants is the number two app in the App Store. How far can Flappy Bird fly?