Remember Flappy Bird? The app was an enormous hit back in 2014, offering up a simple-but-compelling gameplay mechanic that took it straight to the top of the App Store's top ten. However, the recent iOS 11 update has rendered the game unplayable.
Flappy Bird creator Dong Nguyen has declined to update the app to run on the new version of iOS, which does not support 32-bit apps. The change is set to affect a huge number of games and other pieces of software, as it remains to be seen which developers will choose to add support.
In the case of Flappy Bird, it shouldn't come as a surprise that Nguyen has no interest in making the necessary edits. The massive success of the app took its toll on the developer, and caused the creator to get hate mail and death threats alongside thousands of dollars in advertising fees.
Nguyen removed the game from app storefronts, but eventually it reappeared, amid sea a sea of clones aping its gameplay mechanics and its retro-inspired graphics. A Facebook announcement issued this week stated, "My responsibility of supporting this app was finished since 2014. This is just my announcement for the current event."
There are plenty of reasons for iPhone and iPad users to make the upgrade to iOS 11, such as the improvements set for Pokemon GO. However, anyone that's still addicted to Flappy Bird three years on will have to make the difficult decision between their time-waster of choice and the new features being introduced to the platform.
The forward march of technology means that this kind of situation is only going to become more prevalent in the future. When we buy software digitally, it can sometimes feel like we're going to have access to that content in perpetuity, but the fact is that we're somewhat at the mercy of developers and hardware manufacturers, especially in an ecosystem that's continually evolving – like iOS.
Flappy Bird is no longer available on iOS and Android devices.