Love it or hate it, Flappy Bird will always get a mention in the history of video games due to just how popular this quite terrible, or terribly addictive game became. It was developed by Vietnamese artist/programmer Dong Nguyen in just a few days and released in free, ad-supported form on the App Store in 2013. It received poor ratings. Then in 2014 the game suddenly became very popular, earning Nguyen up to $50,000 per day in ad-related revenue.
The game's success made little sense beyond how simple it is and how addictive it can be. Tens of millions of downloads have been logged over four years, but as Gamesindustry.biz reports, those downloads are set to take a drastic nose dive on the App Store in the months to come.
With the launch of iOS 11, Apple is removing support for 32-bit apps from the App Store. Such apps will no longer be shown for download, and anyone running iOS 11 that tries to run a 32-bit app will see an incompatibility warning instead. Flappy Bird is one of those 32-bit apps, and Nguyen has confirmed he doesn't intend on updating it to be 64-bit. So as iOS 11 uptake increases, the ability to play Flappy Bird decreases.
Nguyen made the announcement on Facebook, stating "The original Flappy Bird app is no longer playable on newer iOS from today with the release of iOS 11 🙂 Thank you very much for your playing and supports[sic] in the last 4 years."
There are so many clones of Flappy Bird, it seems unlikely anyone will miss the original disappearing from iOS. And the fact it is disappearing means some developers will see a fresh opportunity to try and replace it with a new, very similar game.
As for Nguyen, he moved on long ago, but hasn't stopped developing games. His dotGears game studio went on to develop other "kid-friendly, extremely difficult and incredibly fun" games including Shuriken Block, Super Ball Juggling, and two entries in the Swing Copters series.
Flappy Bird will never truly disappear from the Internet, but it is now doomed to slowly disappear from iOS devices.