The Attack Of The Flappy Bird Clones Illustrates The Difficulty Developers Have In Sustaining Success On A Smartphone

Mar 4 2014, 8:36pm CST | by

The Attack Of The Flappy Bird Clones Illustrates The Difficulty Developers Have In Sustaining Success On A Smartphone
Photo Credit: Forbes Apple

Some fascinating numbers from Stuart Dredge at The Guardian today – over a twenty four hour period there were 95 ‘Flappy Bird’ inspired apps released for iOS. They may be catching the last remnants of the zeitgeist over Flappy Bird, but any developer with a moderately successful game knows this is not an isolated patch of cloning. Find yourself with a success in a mobile App Store, and you’re going to be flooded with similar apps trying to cash in on your inventiveness.

Apple has already indicated that apps with ‘similar’ names to other popular apps are not going to be cleared into the store, but either their definition of similarity is too precise, or the system in place is far too porous. Scrappy Bird, Flappy Love, and Flappy Bat Adventures are three of the titles that spring out that you would expect to receive a second look and be passed back to the developers with a note saying ‘try again.’

Both Android and Windows Phone have the same issue, but it is even more comical on Windows Phone. Flappy Bird was never officially released for Redmond’s mobile platform, yet many gamers found an app called Flappy Bird, with pixel perfect graphics, identical game play, and the same frustrating emotional return available in the Windows Phone Store not long after Dong Nguyen said a Windows Phone version was being considered.

While clone games (and the majority of the time, it is gaming titles which are rapidly cloned) can have a hugely detrimental effect on the indie developer. Once a good idea gets some traction in the story, the cloners will arrive and the original developer can either engage in a huge game of whack-a-mole and raise concerns with the app stores on each clone that arrives (ninety-five Flappy Birds, a day, is a lot of take-down notices required). And any time spent on the legal route represents time and resources that cannot be spent improving the original game, promoting the title, or working on the next potential success.

It’s impossible to ignore the problem as well. Not only are developers trying to promote their own app and everything that is unique about it, they are also trying to fight against a rising tide of almost identical titles that are taking away space in the app store listings, filling up the first page of results in a search result, and capturing the mind share of gamers browsing the stores.

One-person and smaller studios simply don’t have the resources to deal with this onslaught. Is it time for the app stores to step up and deal with the problem? Flappy Bird has been one of the highest-profile apps of recent times, and if any protection was going to be put in place, surely it would be for this cultural avalanche? While there are reports of some push-back to developers, Dredge has shown that there are hundreds of clones available, and more arriving each day.

If the app stores cannot police themselves with apps that riff unnecessarily on an original idea, what hope do the small indie developers have of holding back the sea of parasitic variants that will descend on their releases, robbing them of originality, search engine traffic, and revenue opportunities?

The Most Egregious Flappy Bird Clones

Source: Forbes Apple

 
 

Don't miss ...

 

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/30" rel="author">Forbes</a>
Forbes is among the most trusted resources for the world's business and investment leaders, providing them the uncompromising commentary, concise analysis, relevant tools and real-time reporting they need to succeed at work, profit from investing and have fun with the rewards of winning.

 

blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest stories

Apple Reportedly Delivering Only 3 Million iWatch Units in 2014
Apple Reportedly Delivering Only 3 Million Units of iWatch in 2014
The production issues are gradually pushing back the iWatch release, consequently makes specialists to predict a decreased shipment in 2014
 
 
Methane created mysterious Siberian crater: Study
London, Aug 1 (IANS) The mysterious crater spotted in the frozen Yamal peninsula in Siberia earlier this month was probably caused by methane released as permafrost thawed, Russian researchers say.
 
 
Why some people can cope with short sleep
New York, Aug 1 (IANS) Most people require seven to nine hours of sleep to have proper daytime functioning, but some people can function normally on less than six hours of sleep per night owing to a gene mutation, says a study.
 
 
Way to restore body's insulin producing ability
New York, Aug 1 (IANS) There is good news for patients suffering from type-one diabetes as they may soon be able to do away with their daily insulin dose to manage their blood-sugar levels.
 
 
 

Latest from the Network

Tom Cruise surprises at derby event
London, Aug 2 (IANS) Hollywood star Tom Cruise, who is filming the fifth instalment of the "Mission: Impossible" franchise here, surprised revellers at a horse racing event here. He showed up at the event at the...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Sahana finishes eighth in women's high jump
Glasgow, Aug 2 (IANS) Indian athlete Sahana Nagaraj came out with a disappointing performance to finish eighth in the women's high jump final at the Commonwealth Games here Friday. The gold went to Australia's Eleanor...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
Boxers Sarita, Devendro enter final, Pinki wins bronze (Third Lead)
Glasgow, Aug 2 (IANS) Former world champion L. Sarita Devi and her state-mate L. Devendro Singh came out with stupendous performances in their respective bouts to enter the Commonwealth Games boxing finals after Pinki...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
Discus thrower Seema wins silver, Krishna fifth
Glasgow, Aug 2 (IANS) Indian discus thrower Seema Punia won the silver medal with her season's best performance while her compatriot and defending champion Krishna Poonia finished a disappointing fifth at the...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
India qualify for women's 4X400m relay finals
Glasgow, Aug 2 (IANS) Defending champions India qualified for the women's 4X400 metres relay finals at the 2014 Commonwealth Games here Friday. The team of Debashree Majumdar, Tintu Luka, Ashwini Akkunji and Poovamma...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
Joe Manganiello works hard for unique physique
Los Angeles, Aug 2 (IANS) Actor-filmmaker Joe Manganiello says a rigorous fitness regime has helped him shape up his incredible physique. The 37-year-old actor says that unlike many other famous faces in Hollywood, he...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Cheryl happiest than ever, believes Simon Cowell
Los Angeles, Aug 2 (IANS) Music mogul Simon Cowell says his "X Factor" co-judge and singer Cheryl Fernandez-Versini aka Cheryl is the "happiest he has ever seen her". It's the effect of marrying French restaurateur...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Hamas's denies kidnapping Israeli soldier in Gaza
Gaza, Aug 2 (IANS) The armed wing of the Islamic Hamas movement, Qassam Brigades, denied Saturday kidnapping of an Israeli soldier in the Gaza Strip. "Until now, we have no idea about the disappearance of the Israeli...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Johnny Depp performs with Aerosmith
Los Angeles, Aug 2 (IANS) Actor Johnny Depp joined his close friend Steven Tyler and his Aerosmith bandmates Tom Hamilton, Joey Kramer, Joe Perry and Brad Whitford here where they played "Big Ten Inch Record" together...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Nine Palestinians killed in Gaza airstrikes
Gaza, Aug 2 (IANS) Israeli airstrikes and artillery attacks killed at least nine Palestinians Friday in southern Gaza Strip, medical sources said. Six people from a same family were killed and five others injured in...
Read more on Politics Balla