Yes, those pipes in the hit game “Flappy Bird” looked a lot like the ones from Nintendo’s Mario franchise, but the video-game giant is denying reports that it threatened legal action against the maker of the blockbuster iOS and Android game, which has been pulled from the App Store and Google Play stores.
A Nintendo spokesman tells the Wall Street Journal that the company has not complained about the game at all. The situation is notable in part because Nintendo has steadfastly refused to bring its own games and iconic characters to smartphones or third-party tablets.
Flappy Bird developer Dong Nguyen confirms Nintendo’s story in a new interview with Forbes, saying that he made the decision to pull the game on his own. Nguyen says he was concerned about people becoming addicted to the game’s special combination of extreme difficulty and easy replayability.
He also seems to be just generally overwhelmed by the situation, with the Forbes reporter noting that he appeared “stressed” during the interview.
“I don’t think it’s a mistake,” Nguyen told Forbes. “I have thought it through.”
Nguyen is walking away from a huge payday. In an interview with The Verge prior to pulling Flappy Bird from the App Store, Nguyen claimed that Flappy Bird was making him $50,000 a day in ad revenue. While he shied away from that number in the Forbes interview, saying he didn’t know the exact figure, he did say that he was making a lot of money.
That statement may have contributed to another reason why he walked away from his game: public backlash. While some people were busy trying to figure out just how to succeed at Flappy Bird, there was a contingent of people on Twitter and elsewhere wishing him ill.
Still, Nguyen has his chin up when it comes to future endeavors. The most recent post to his Twitter account reads: “And I still make games.”