R.I.P. Flappy Bird
Flappy Bird came and went last month after reaching the top of every app chart going. Although released in early 2013, it reached its peak in popularity over the course of a few weeks, being downloaded over 50 million times in its life span. At the height of the game’s popularity though the creator, Dong Nguyen, announced he would be removing the game from the app stores saying:
I am sorry 'Flappy Bird' users, 22 hours from now, I will take 'Flappy Bird' down. I cannot take this anymore.
The simple premise, yet difficult controls received criticism from many, but none could deny its addictiveness. Nguyen later revealed that the level of publicity changed his life in such a way that he didn’t like. The amount of people claiming to be addicted to the game also prompted him to remove Flappy Bird. In the week leading to its removal, it was reported that the game was raking in excess of $50,000 a day from advertising. Many initially believed that the decision to kill off Flappy Bird was a publicity stunt, but it has yet to reappear with Nguyen falling completely off the radar.
Devices with the game already installed are still able to run the game, however new downloads are not available. Phones appeared on eBay shortly after with the game installed, drawing a few high bids before the site became saturated with them. What’s next for Flappy Bird? Of course cryptocurrencies are already appearing (think bitcoin and dogecoin) and dozens of imitations have tried to cash in. As for the game itself, it appears it has gone for good…
Pokemon Crowd Control
The largest ever communally controlled video game is currently being played by around 75,000 people online. The 1996 Game Boy title, Pokemon, was hosted on video game broadcasting site Twitch just under a week ago where users were given the opportunity to control protagonist, Ash. To do so, users type a command into the comment box (such as up, down, left, right, a, b) and Ash will obey the command. However, as the game has gained popularity, the ability to control the character has proved difficult as tens of thousands of people all type in commands at once causing chaos and stifling progress through the game.
A democracy mode has been added where, instead of every single user command being registered, a voting system has been implemented. Whichever command gets the most comments will be the one accepted by the game. If people vote for the initial “anarchy” mode though it will revert to that method of control. Amazingly, players are already halfway through the game.
There is debate over how relevant this "experiment" actually is. On one hand, allowing thousands of people to collectively work together to reach a common goal via the internet is something monumental, and some are referring to it as a milestone in internet history. On the other hand, it’s a pretty pointless exercise on which many, many hours are being wasted. The game has already prompted in-jokes and memes with a whole corner of the internet fascinated by what is happening. There is a lot of walking into walls and backtracking, but on the whole it is interesting to see what will eventually happen.
PlayStation 4 Winning the Console War?
A while back we looked at which console would win the console war between the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One. While the two devices are suited to different types of gamers, it seems that Sony has taken the market by the scruff of the neck as they smash their sales targets long in advance.
The PlayStation 4 has already sold an enormous 5.3 million units worldwide, which has exceeded their target of 5 million before the end of March. This is even more impressive when you take into account the fact that it hasn’t launched in its native Japan yet, which it will do on Saturday 22nd February. This will boost sales dramatically and put Sony well ahead of their estimations.
Microsoft have still recorded impressive sales too though, having sold just shy of 4 million. Many felt that the launch titles for both consoles were poor though and what will ultimately decide who has truly won the battle for supremacy will be the exclusive titles. Whichever console puts out the better or more desirable games will draw in sales from those that haven’t yet made up their mind. So while on the face of it this is an early victory for Sony, Microsoft could still catch up to them.
Sources: Flappy Bird Timeline – The Origin And End Of The Addictive Fluffy Bird | International Business Times Apple & Google Begin Rejecting Games With "Flappy" In The Title | Tech Crunch75,000 Fans Play SAME Pokemon Game On TV. Mayhem Ensues | The RegisterSony Has Sold Over 5.3 Million PlayStation 4 Consoles Worldwide | The Verge