Death hoaxes spread across the internet all the time and the latest was about the suicide of the Flappy Bird creator, Dong Nguyen. The suicide news spread four days ago, just after the game was taken offline by the developer.
Many people have taken to the internet to complain about the decision of Nguyen. He was reportedly making $50,000 per day from advertisement of the app because it became so popular. However, he was so overwhelmed by the response rate and media attention that he chose to remove it, giving everyone a 22 hour warning. After removing it, iPhones were available on eBay and being sold for over $100,000 just because it had the popular, free app.
On Feb. 9, a website reported that the developer of Flappy Bird was found dead in his home. The officials, apparently, reported that it was suicide due to the gunshot wound to his head. There were seven other suicides reported in the same statement, but the names were not giving. According to the site in question, the police were working on finding out the real reason for the developer to remove his game from the Google Play and Apple App Stores.
The good news is that the report has since been found to be fake. Hollywood Life reports that it all stemmed from a fan who was angry at Nguyen for removing the popular game from the market. Writer Andy Swift believes the Flappy Bird creator’s suicide news hoax was inspired by one of the tweets that Nguyen sent when he stated the game would be removed. He said “I can’t take this anymore,” which is a popular line for people to use when ending their own lives.
It didn’t help that the creator hasn’t used his Twitter account since Feb. 8, when he chose to remove the game. The last thing he told people was that he still makes games, but that he is not selling his popular game, so people needed to stop asking him about its availability.
Many still question exactly why Flappy Bird became so popular. When it was first created, in May 2013, it barely had any following. It was in January 2014 when it suddenly reached the list of most popular free apps on Apple’s App Store. The developer states that he never once promoted the app, after releasing it, but some cynics believe he may have used bots to pretend to download the game so that it became so popular.
However, the popularity seems to be his downfall. Despite making a reported $50,000 per day through ad revenue, the constant media attention, along with tweets from fans of the game, put too much pressure on the Vietnamese indie game developer. He will still continue to make some money from it, however. Those who already downloaded the game are also still be able to play it, and it has only been removed from the App Stores for both Apple and Google.
Death rumors spread like wildfire, and usually center around A-list celebrities. However, the suicide hoax about the Flappy Bird creator was just from an annoyed fan.
By Alexandria Ingham