Apple and Google reject titles similar to Flappy Bird

Mobile devs complain of rejection for including "flappy" in game titles

Flappy Bird may no longer be available to download, but its enduring appeal has proved difficult for mobile developers to resist - and now Google and Apple have started to reject games with similar titles.

At the time of writing, four of the top ten most downloaded free apps on the App Store are directly inspired by Flappy Bird's success - SplashyFish, Ironpants and City Bird comprise the top three. However, a number of developers have complained that their games have been rejected in what appears to be an attempt to stem the flow of copycat titles.

A tweet from Mind Juice Media - sourced by Techcrunch - complained that its game, Flappy Dragon, had been rejected on the grounds that its name, "attempts to leverage a popular app."

"Which app?" Ken Carpenter, CEO of Mind Juice, complained. "[Flappy Bird] doesn't exist!?!?!"

Another developer, Mad Garden, had a game called FlapThulhu: Flappy Madness rejected and, in a response to Mad Garden's tweet, Kuyi Mobile indicated that it knew of at least three other developers that had suffered the same treatment. Both Mind Juice and Kuyi also claimed that developers were being rejected by Google Play for similar reasons.

While neither Apple nor Google has not publicly stated their positions, the rejections are inconsistent. A host of games with "flappy" in their title, or which are clearly based on Flappy Bird's unforgiving design, were available to download on both the App Store and Google Play at the time of writing.

This is just the latest twist in the ongoing saga of Flappy Bird, an otherwise obscure game from a solo Vietnamese developer that rose to the very top of the mobile world, apparently on word-of-mouth alone. However, despite earning somewhere in the region of $50,000 a day in ad revenue, Dong Nguyen, the game's creator, withdrew it from sale.

"I cannot take this any more," he said in a tweet last week.

A few days later, Nguyen told Forbes that his decision to withdraw the game was down to the public reaction to the game - both the abuse he received, and the compulsive behaviour it created in its players.

"Flappy Bird was designed to play in a few minutes when you are relaxed," he said. "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."

More stories

Call of Duty QA workers vote to unionize

78% of Raven Software testers vote to form union, ask Activision Blizzard to voluntarily recognize a group of 34 members

By Brendan Sinclair

Buying Activision Blizzard is the industry's biggest gamble | Opinion

The sheer scale of Microsoft's acquisition shouldn't distract from how risky and difficult it will be - and some major questions won't have answers for years

By Rob Fahey

Latest comments (8)

If your business model is predicated on copying Flappy Bird, and you're bent out of shape that you can't, you may wish to rethink your business model.
14Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys! 7 years ago
Make better games and stop bitching when they get taken down for trying to be like one that wasn't that original in the first place, I say. Or just call it a lazy Monday with "Happy Bird"... the EASIEST game ever. One screen walking dodo bird toddling to the exit. WIN. Make it two screens in the next stage, rinse and repeat. Put up a pay wall at level 10 if you like and see if people bite.

You're welcome.
4Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Steven Hodgson Dev 7 years ago
Just call your game the helicopter game, thats all flappy bird is
2Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Show all comments (8)
Dan Wood Visual Effects Artist 7 years ago
While I have no sympathy with regards to this particular story, I just wanted to mention a genuinely hilarious "shameless cash-in":

Alas, even that guy appears to have been forced to change his graphics to comply with copyright since yesterday. It's still an amusing homage, with a genuinely interesting twist :-)
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Paul Jace Merchandiser 7 years ago
So they're complaining about having their copycat games being rejected from sale? Thats see what I did there.
4Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Alfonso Sexto Lead Tester, Ubisoft Germany7 years ago
There, run for the money you greedy bunch...

"Consoles are killing creativity" said somebody we know from this forum. I'm still waiting to see this happen on consoles and/or STEAM.
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Craig Page El Presidente, Awesome Enterprises7 years ago
Just downloaded Flappy Dino, and this Helicopter Game on the Android store...

They don't seem to have rejected any Flappy games, there's like 100,000,000 search results for Flappy (give or take a few).
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
John Arnold Video Production 7 years ago
I wouldn't so much call them "Copycats" or "Inspired". They're shameful parasites that make money feeding off other people's creativity. The fact a lot of them are badly controlled and filled with constant advertisements proves their greed. Ultimately the developer should have patented his property better, which is hard considering he used classic Nintendo graphic art. I don't blame him for feeling overwhelmed and unprepared of the whole management he would be involved in.
1Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply

Sign in to contribute

Need an account? Register now.