Since the removal of Flappy Bird from the App Stores, both Apple and Google are now rejecting clone apps, which have been appearing after many developers hope to jump onto the success of the free game.
Dong Nguyen removed Flappy Bird from both the Play Store and iTunes App Store when it became too popular for his liking. There has been no confirmation how that happened, considering he states he never promoted it after the release in May 2013. It suddenly hit the list of most popular free apps in the iTunes store in January 2014. Nguyen gave a 22 hour warning through his Twitter page, and stuck to his warning by removing the app.
It has led to a string of people buying iPhones with Flappy Bird already installed for tens of thousands of dollars, with some phones being sold for over $100,000. People who didn’t get the chance to download the game before it was taken off the shelves have paid anything and everything to eventually get it.
However, that’s not all. Developers are now trying to jump on the bandwagon. After Nguyen announced that he was earning around $50,000 per day from the advertising on the app, others have wanted to cash in on the success. Apps with the names Flappy Bird Flyer and Flappy Bee have appeared on the various app stores. Some people have even used the word “flappy” in their marketing in the hope to trick people into believing the popular game is back.
There are still some games available, but developers are reporting that Google and Apple are both rejecting apps with the word “flappy” in them. The two giants want to prevent people from cashing in just because they have a similar game. It is time for developers to come up with something unique, interesting and worth the money they could gain.
One developer made it clear that the only reason his game was rejected from the Apple store was due to the name. Apple rejected Ken Carpenter’s Flappy Dragon because the name attempted to “leverage a popular app.” He took to Twitter to complain stating that “FB doesn’t exist,” so questioned how it could leverage off its name. Google informed Carpenter that the app had “irrelevant, misleading or excessive keywords” in the description, title or metadata, but gave no other clarification.
Other developers then used Twitter to complain that their apps had been removed or rejected from app stores.
According to Apple, the tech giant is not rejecting apps just based on the word. It is rejecting apps that are trying to trick people. A spokesperson stated that the company does not want customers believing the app has anything to do with the original, when it clearly does not. Google is still to comment about its reasons for rejecting apps, but it is likely that the reasons are similar.
The recent decisions by the stores have meant that developers have to decide what to do next. They can either choose to let their hard work go to waste, or make changes so they can resubmit their apps. However, it is clear that those who use the word “flappy” just to gain from Flappy Bird will find their apps rejected on the Apple and Google stores.
Editorial by Alexandria Ingham
Guardian Liberty Voice