Flappy Bird lives! Developer Dong Nguyen says game is coming back in August


Dong Nguyen, developer of Flappy Bird, left, speaks as Nolan Bushnell, co-founder of Atari Corp., listens during the 2014 WIRED Business Conference in New York. (Peter Foley/ Bloomberg News)

Flappy Bird creator Dong Nguyen has said that he's bringing his wildly popular game back to the app stores this past summer,  just months after he pulled it because it was too addictive and put him under enormous pressure. At the time, Nguyen was clear that Flappy Bird was "gone forever."

"Forever," it seems, just ain't as long as it used to be.

In an interview with CNBC late Wednesday, Nguyen said that he's planning to put the game back up in August, with tweaks that add multiplayer functionality and make it less stupidly addictive. He didn't, however, elaborate on the specifics, so we don't yet know how he plans water down how habit-forming it is — arguably the game's most compelling aspect.

Nguyen had said in the past that, while he felt overwhelmed by Flappy Bird's success, he still planned to make more games. But it seems some time away from the spotlight convinced him to retool his mega-hit instead.

Flappy Bird, for those who don't remember, was a very simple game in which players guided a non-aerodynamic bird through a series of pipes. Tapping on the screen sent the eponymous bird floating up, otherwise it sunk to the earth like a stone. There was no room for error, either. If players caught any part of an obstacle with the bird, it was game over.

At its peak, Flappy Bird made up to $50,000 per day in ad revenue. After Nguyen pulled it, those who had the app installed have been able to keep playing it, meaning the developer continued to make some money from the game, although not nearly as much as he was making during the game's peak popularity, he told CNBC.

Since Nguyen originally grounded the app, both Apple's App Store and the Google Play  store have been flooded with (mostly inferior) clones of Nguyen's viral hit, so it may be good to see the genuine article on sale again.

Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.
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