A Third of New iOS Games Are 'Flappy Bird' Clones, Survey Suggests

Flappy Bird

The popularity of the mobile app Flappy Bird is undeniable, with the simple game mechanic of tapping repeatedly to elevate a character who seems to be inept at flying and a background and theme that is distinctly Super Mario-esque, being one of the most downloaded titles from December 2013 to now. Several weeks ago however, the game’s developer Dong Nguyen removed the game from both the Apple App Store and the Google Play marketplace, generating an insurmountable amount of buzz and attention for the title had already been downloading to 50 million Android devices.

With Nguyen himself citing stress that stemmed from Flappy Bird’s popularity and addictive nature as a reason for the removal of super-profitable app, friends and sources claimed that he didn't want to run the risk of being slapped with a lawsuit from Nintendo, due to their games’ similar art styles. Regardless of the reason that Flappy Bird was taken down though, the game’s removal left has left a huge gap in the app market that, as a new survey suggests, hundreds, if not, thousands of developers are still looking to fill.

At the height of the game’s popularity, right before Flappy Bird was taken down, the game was reportedly earning Dong Nguyen $50,000 in ad revenue per day, a remarkable feat for a one-man development project. With that figure in mind it makes sense that developers are looking to take over a slice of the market that Flappy Bird held, made all the more easier to recreate due to the game’s lack of extravagant gameplay, micro-transactions or processor-taxing graphics. In the past 24 hours alone, just under 300 new iOS games were released onto the App Store (293, specifically) and according to a analysis by Stuart Dredge, a journalist at British newspaper The Guardian, around 95 of those were obvious Flappy Bird clones.

It's unsurprising really, considering in the same weekend where Nguyen warned fans that he was removing Flappy Bird, we saw several dozen new Flappy-related games hit the market. Our own Rob Keyes made a series of videos on over a dozen of them to poke fun at the absurdity of it all. Among the new games that Dredge cites, Tappy Bieber (which includes a likeness of the singing, Canadian teen), Tappy Nyan (a take on the popular ‘Nyan Cat’ meme) and Flying Rainbow Cat (a game which presumably takes after both Tappy Nyan and Flappy Bird) are all games that all slipped through Apple’s analysis system, which is now reportedly rejecting Flappy Bird clones, with Google also said to have banned the word 'Flappy' from new app submissions too.


While it would be easy to suggest that this is a passing fad that doesn't quite have the staying power of Angry Birds and its veritable collections of spinoffs, the Flappy theme could be around for a little while if app charts are anything to go by, as Flappy Wings, Hoppy Frog, Flying Cyrus — Wrecking Ball and Splashy Fish all taking spots in the Top 5 Free games list in the US app store, finding a lot of success in Flappy Bird’s absence and even pop punk band Fall Out Boy having released their own Flappy Bird clone, called Fall Out Bird. So with star power behind it and thousands of players who are still looking for next, great breakout app, it seems that for the time being, when it comes to successful games, these Flappy Bird clones with just keep on flapping.

Source: The Guardian

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