An iPhone 5s with Flappy Bird installed has fetched 74 bids on EBay and is currently going for $99,900.
[Updated, 11:18 a.m. PST Feb. 10: The item is no longer listed on EBay and neither is another device, mentioned below, which had earned a bid of $98,100 before disappearing. The items’ prices may have been driven up by bots, or fake EBay accounts.
We’ve asked EBay for an explanation.]
The device is one of many smartphones on sale through the online auction website that comes with Flappy Bird, a popular mobile game, pre-installed. Numerous devices have received multiple bids and will presumably sell for thousands of dollars.
Driving the demand on EBay is the sudden removal of Flappy Bird from the Apple App Store and Google Play. Before it was removed by developer Dong Nguyen, Flappy Bird had become one of the most popular mobile games. It was at the top of the free games charts for both app stores before it was removed.
The point of the game is to tap the screen to propel a bird through gaps between green tubes. If the bird hits one of the tubes it dies. Users compete with their friends by notching the highest score possible. The highest that can be scored is 9,999, but often, users struggle to get scores of 3.
Users who downloaded Flappy Bird before it was removed can still play the game, but others cannot download it.
Nguyen announced that he would remove the game on Saturday, and less than 24 hours later, it was gone. He said the decision to do so did not involve legal problems, nor had he sold the game to anyone else. His announcement came just a few days after saying the game made about $50,000 a day on average from advertisements.
Reports had surfaced that said Nintendo had been involved with the Flappy Bird’s removal as many elements of the popular game resembled the Japanese company’s Super Marios Bros. video games. But Nintendo has denied those claims.
Besides the device that is listed for $99,900, other smartphones with Flappy Bird on EBay are selling for $98,100 and $81,100 -- both of which have received numerous bids. Many other devices with Flappy Bird are also on sale and have received bids on EBay for a few thousand dollars or a few hundred.
However, sometimes EBay users place exuberant bids but don’t end up paying what they promise, leading to the cancellation of the sale and forcing the seller to re-list the item. That was the case last year when one user bid more than $10,000 for a gold iPhone 5s.