Flappy Bird is incredibly simple, incredibly frustrating and incredibly addictive to play. And it’s raking in an incredible $50,000 in revenue daily.
The game is free to download and only requires that users tap the screen to play. The main character is a round, yellow bird who must avoid hitting green pipes as it flies. Users dictate how high or low the bird flies by tapping on the screen.
It sounds simple enough, but the game is actually very difficult to play. Even earning a high score of 10 can take hours for some users.
“The reason Flappy Bird is so popular is that it happens to be something different from mobile games today, and is a really good game to compete against each other,” Nguyen told the Verge. “People in the same classroom can play and compete easily because [Flappy Bird] is simple to learn, but you need skill to get a high score.”
And as users play over and over again, the Flappy Bird game displays banner ads at the top and bottom of the screen. With so many users now playing the game, all those ads are bringing in $50,000 every day on average, Nguyen told the Verge.
That’s a big accomplishment for the app, which was launched in May 2013 but didn’t start to gain a following until November.
Often, mobile games give users the option to pay a small fee to remove ads, but Nguyen said he has no plans to remove ads or update the game in any way — no matter how distracting the ads may be for some gamers.
“Flappy Bird has reached a state where anything added to the game will ruin it somehow, so I’d like to leave it as is,” he told the Verge. “I will think about a sequel, but I’m not sure about the time line.”
And for all Flappy Bird users wondering, Nguyen said the game was inspired by Super Mario Bros. The green pipes, of course, are icons of the game. The main character, the bird, was inspired by Cheep Cheep, the fish Mario encounters while he swims underwater.