Flappy Bird controversy for local developer

Last updated 10:31 11/02/2014

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Flightless, a New Zealand based developer and design agency, have had assets related to a game they released in 2012 stolen by another game on the Apple App Store.

The offending title, Flappy Bee, was released late last week in an apparent attempt to cash in on the Flappy Bird phenomenon.

"[Flappy Bee] is not only trying to leverage the success of 'Flappy Bird'," Stephen Knightly - chairperson of the NZ Game Developers Association - explained, "but is also trying to leverage the success of Flightless‘ game 'Bee Leader'. It is using copyrighted assets that have been directly stolen from 'Bee Leader', including the main app icon."

The icon used for Flappy Bee, shown below, is clearly identical to the one used in Bee Leader - a game which has nothing in common with Flappy Bird.

“We have submitted a content dispute with Apple," Greg Harding - Flightless' Technical Director - noted, "but currently the offending ‘Flappy Bee’ App is #4 on the App Store charts and gathering significant ad network revenue for its rogue developer, all while using our work. It’s been a rough day.”

John O’Reilly, Flightless' Creative Director, added, “We’d like to acknowledge the many emails and tweets of support from people who have seen the offending game. We’re gutted and feel powerless as a small indie games company to see our hard work taken advantage of in this way. We’re considering our legal position at the moment.”

Nguyen Ha Dong, the Hanoi-based game developer of Flappy Birds, removed the game from both iTunes and the Google Play Store on Sunday, saying the action had nothing to do with legal issues.

"I cannot take this anymore," he tweeted.


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