Flappy Bird may yet live to fly again.
In an interview with Rolling Stone, the Vietnamese developer Dong Nguyen said he was "considering" the possibility of reviving the insanely-popular mobile game, although he warned that any future releases would come with a warning: "Please take a break."
Released last year under the banner of the Dot Gears studio, Mr. Nguyen's Flappy Bird was a model of simplicity: Users tap the screen of their mobile device to keep their avatar airborne and out of the grips of the omnipresent, Super-Mario-like pipes. The game was also occasionally infuriating and perplexingly addicting, and by early in 2014, it had been downloaded millions of times.
But in February, Nguyen announced he was removing the game for good from the iTunes and Android stores. Rumors abounded: Perhaps Nguyen had annoyed Nintendo; or maybe Nguyen had engineered the success of the game with the help of bots, and then been forced to yank his creation off the Web. Nguyen offered a much simpler explanation: His game was too addictive, and it was having a "negative effect" on players.
"I'm master of my own fate," Nguyen told David Kushner of Rolling Stone. "Independent thinker."
Nguyen offered no specifics on the return of Flappy Bird, and said it was not something he was actively working on. So in the meantime, what's a Flappy Bird aficionado to do? Well, the best bet is to download a Flappy Bird clone such as "Floppy Bird" – the game, pictured above, that takes the avian avatar introduced by Nguyen, and replaces it with a floppy disc.