Research on Flappy Bird and Related Games

Last night was date night, so didn’t get my normal window of time in. However, I spent some time earlier in the day doing some research on the app store. Specifically, looking at Flappy Bird. It appears that there have already been multiple rip-offs of Flappy Bird… that have cracked the top 100 Free Games. Flappy Plane is currently #10 (this game hit the store January 30th… clearly a copy cat). Fluffy vs Flappy Birds is #41, even though it has 2-star reviews (this game hit the store February 7th… also a copy cat). Clearly there is success out there for copy cat games. However, not sure that these are obvious re-skins. Definitely using the Flappy term in your game right now can lead to more search results in the App Store. Maybe that’s one of the key learnings here.

Additionally, the Flappy Bird creator, Dong Nguyen, has another game in the top 5 right now – Super Ball Juggling. Also a very simple game that probably didn’t take a lot of development. But the interesting thing to me is that it appears that Super Ball Juggling got attention from the popularity of Flappy Birds. You can see the developer’s other apps in the App Store, which seems to be how Super Ball Juggling got so much attention. Further, Dong Nguyen’s other game, Shuriken Block, is currently the #9 game in the App Store… confirming that the success of one app will help drive traffic to the developer’s other apps.

I’m also watching the App Store for a re-skinned version of Flappy Birds, called Flappy Fish. This was a re-skin of Flappy Bird by the Chocolate Lab Apps lady… not sure if it will get through Apple’s review though. It seemed very similar to Flappy Bird (maybe too similar? I don’t know… very new to this still). It was submitted early last week, I believe. It will be interesting to see if this quick re-skin makes it through and how successful it is. The Chocolate Lab Apps was trying to sell licenses to the source code used for the Flappy Fish game. I’d guess she makes more money from selling the source code to re-skinner developers than she will make off her own re-skin. How’s that for a business model? She’s clearly selling shovels to the gold diggers. Makes me wonder if she’s finding any actual gold in her apps or if she’s making more money by selling shovels (her source code licenses and courses). I don’t doubt that one can be successful using her advice… just not sure if that’s the best way to be successful in the App Store. Will keep researching. Stay tuned.

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