Flappy Bird, the unexpected smash hit from Dong Nguyen of dotGears, is breaking records for its atmospheric climb to the top of iOS App Store charts. Not only does Dong have the #1 app on the free iOS Apps list, his other games have risen to #4 and #11, an unprecedented feat for an indie developer.What makes Dong’s story so interesting is that he did no advertising for his apps. He coded them, dropped them in the App Store and that was it. Flappy Bird’s success is completely viral in nature and not the result of clever marketing. It was noticed, shared on social networks and took off, similar to other viral hits like biting baby Charlie and Gangnam style.
Dong broke his silence and spoke to The Verge about his success and confirmed the app has been downloaded over 50 million times from the iOS App Store and Google Play Store. The app is free, but ad-supported and the ads are generating Dong an impressive $50,000 each day. He has accumulated almost 600,000 ratings and 56,000 reviews in the iOS App Store, most of which were in the past few weeks.
Flappy Bird is is known for its 8-bit graphics and difficult gameplay that challenges players to fly a bird through a pipe maze. It took Dong a few after-work coding sessions to complete the app and he has no plans to change or update it.
“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,” he says “I will think about a sequel but I’m not sure about the timeline.”
Dong intends to develop additional games with his next project focusing on the Jetpack Joyride genre. It’ll be interesting to see if his other arcade style titles catch on like Flappy Bird did.