What Flappy Bird's success can teach developers about a blockbuster

When the Flappy Bird mobile game started getting widespread attention in early 2014, it generated massive downloads and a level of engagement its own creator Dong Nguyen described as too addictive. Rather than celebrating his success, however, Nguyen surprised the industry by removing Flappy Bird for purchase. Nguyen has subsequently said a multi-player version of Flappy Bird would launch this August. However, dozens of developers followed Flappy Bird's success by creating apps that imitated the game as they tried to replicate Nguyen's hit. As FierceDeveloper notes, in the long term, Flappy Bird could become an object lesson in how developers can take the best of a blockbuster and build something original--or a cautionary tale in copying your way to a flop. Special report