Game developers the world over must have really lost their you-know-what when they heard about Dong Nguyen, Vietnamese developer, raking in $50,000 a day on the insanely popular (yet extremely simple) Flappy Bird. Upon its swift exit from the digital marketplaces of the world, tons of clones hit the Google Play Store to try and ride one of the biggest tidal wave fads in mobile history.
But it doesn’t look like Google will let clones of the addictive game take over its apps repository as easily as the original took over many others’ lives. Developers have been revealing that Google is possibly beginning to reject any new game submissions with the word “Flappy” in the title, which is one good place to start if you’re looking to curb a ridiculous trend.
Not only that, but Google is also reportedly blocking any game that looks to take on the Flappy Bird formula, even if the developer’s app doesn’t make mention of the game it’s ripping off.
Developer Ken Carpenter revealed as much, saying Google considered his app — Flappy Dragon — “spam,” and used that as basis for rejecting it from Google Play. Google alerted Carpenter that they detected an attempt to “leverage a popular app.” (We’re not sure if it means anything, but Ken’s renamed “Derpy Dragon” game was successfully resubmitted and is still sitting in the Google Play Store as of the time of this writing.)
We wouldn’t be inclined to disagree with the notion that there’s no room for spam apps in the Google Play Store, but you have to wonder if this would set a dangerous precedent for the Google Play Store. Openness and acceptance have long been key components of the Android Market / Google Play Store’s makeup, and was always one of the few big differences that made developer atmosphere on Android shine compared to Apple’s walled garden.
For what it’s worth, Google has at least allowed existing apps to stay in the Google Play Store, so those who were “in before the lock” seem to be safe. It also seems Google doesn’t have any issue with them being clones, just that they don’t use “Flappy” or “Flappy Bird” in the tile. Anything could change, though, and we’ll be looking to see if any other developers are affected in the hours or days to come.
We’re not sure how we’d feel if Google ever deemed it necessary to turn the Play Store into the same walled garden that the bitten fruit company handles, though we’re going to go out on a limb and say that the Mountain View company isn’t looking to make a habit of this.
Sure, we all hate endless clones, ripoff apps and other nonsense that tends to plague an open market place like Google Play, but we’d be even sicker if its current identity was compromised. Let’s just hope this is a one-time deal to help handle the latest anomaly to sweep the mobile world since, well, since Android itself became a hit.
We’ll be reaching out to Google to see if we can get more information about their latest action toward developers hoping to cash in on all this nonsense. In the meantime, be sure to tell us how you feel about all of it in the comments section below.