Game developer pulls plug on Flappy Bird

The Vietnamese developer behind the smash-hit free game Flappy Bird has pulled his creation from online stores after announcing its success had ruined his “simple life”.

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Technology experts say the addictive and notoriously difficult game rose from obscurity at its release in May to become one of the most downloaded free mobile games on Apple’s App Store and Google’s Play store.

“Flappy Bird is a success of mine. But it also ruins my simple life. So now I hate it,” the game’s creator Nguyen Ha Dong tweeted.

“I am sorry Flappy Bird users, 22 hours from now, I will take Flappy Bird down. I cannot take this anymore,” he wrote on Saturday from his @dongatory handle – which has seen its follower count grow by tens of thousands in the past few days.

Flappy Bird was not available on the Australian, American or British Apple App Stores on Monday.

Flappy Bird features 2D retro-style graphics. The aim of the game is to direct a flying bird between oncoming sets of pipes without touching them.

Dong has said in interviews that his brainchild was pulling in as much as $US50,000 ($A56,006.72) a day in revenue from online advertising banners.

Some Vietnamese online commentators have speculated that Dong took down the game after being pressured by Nintendo – Flappy Bird’s simple graphics appear to owe debt to Nintendo’s early Mario Bros games.

But a Nintendo spokesman said: “Our company has not taken any action this time.”

Vietnamese online newspaper VNExpress quoted Dong – who has two other games in the top 10 in online stores – as saying he created the game in days following “a weird design style”.