Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Green Pipes?

Ever heard of Flappy Bird? If you haven’t, then you’re not alone. I only heard of it a few days ago and it was because the game designer has removed the game from app stores despite it being very successful.

Flappy Bird is a mobile game that was created by Vietnamese Dong Nguyen and is surprisingly simple. Players navigate a bird through a series of pipes by tapping repeatedly on the screen. The game has taken the world by storm, especially when Dong Nguyen said that he created the game in less than a day. So why has the man taken down a game that has been downloaded over 50 million times and is making him about US$50,000 in ad revenue a day?

Well, as a tribute to his favorite game, Mario Bros, Mr. Dong made the mistake of making his bird fly through big fat green pipes like those found in Mario Bros. Worse is that he naively admitted that he took the design of the pipes from Mario Bros. Considering that the game was making him US$50,000 a day, it should come as no surprise what actions Nintendo did.

To defend themselves, Nintendo publicly said that they never threatened to sue Mr. Dong; they only sent him a “warning” letter. Well, the “warning” worked because Mr. Dong has now taken down Flappy Bird.

Since I don’t play mobile game, I couldn’t care less whether the game is still up on app stores but from what I had read and seen, I want to know how Nintendo could even sent Mr. Dong any “warning” letter? Did Mario show up in Flappy Bird? Did Luigi or Yoshi or even Princess Peach? No, the only thing from Mario Bros that showed up in Flappy Bird are…green pipes.

Green pipes! That’s the basis for Nintendo’s warning? Green Pipes? That’s it? Are you saying that any game that features green pipes is now in danger of being sued warned by Nintendo? That’s even more stupid than those crazy American copyrights of words like Saga and Scrolls in the title of games. You show a green pipe in your game, and you could be in danger of being “warned” by Nintendo.

What idiocy! 

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