Mysterious 29 year-old Dong Nguyen has suddenly become one of the biggest names in gaming, having pulled Flappy Bird – a bona fide phenomenon – at the peak of its popularity. There were all sorts of theories flying around, but the developer insisted the move was for purely altruistic reasons.
The Dongster has given his first interview since pulling Flappy Bird from the App Store and Google Play, and, well, we’re still not really sure what the heck’s going on.
The interview appears over on Forbes, scribbled up by Lan Anh Nguyen (presumably no relation).
Dong sounds like one crazy dude. First he turned up late – on account of a sudden meeting with Vietnam’s deputy prime minister, and one of the conditions of the interview was that his beautiful face remain shrouded in mystery.
He also “appeared stressed”, smoked “several cigarettes” during the relatively short interview session, and spent at least part of the time drawing “monkey heads” on a notepad. Brilliant.
Anyway! Here’s what Dong’s saying: “Flappy Bird was designed to play in a few minutes when you are relaxed. But it happened to become an addictive product. I think it has become a problem. To solve that problem, it’s best to take down Flappy Bird. It’s gone forever.”
If that’s truly the case, Dong, then you’re a better man than I. If I developed a game that was reportedly bringing in $50,000 a day in ad revenue, I wouldn’t care if people were throwing themselves off bridges in anger; I’d ride that revenue wave all the way to early retirement.
The whole thing just doesn’t make sense. More credible theories include Nintendo taking legal action on account of the decidedly Mario Bros-esque assets (surely he could simply change the pipes for, eh, tubes or something?), while it’s also suggested that Dong has suffered a torrent of abuse from angry Flappy Bird players (just set your twitter profile to private, man).
It’s all very strange, but from Forbes’ description, he sounds like a very strange guy. It’ll be interesting to see what he does next.
In the meantime, to Flappy Bird players, Dong says: “Thank you very much for playing my game.” No problem, buddy.