Flappy Bird phones on offer for $50,000

Last updated 16:07 14/02/2014

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Phones and tablets sporting the blockbuster game Flappy Bird are for sale online for tens of thousands of dollars above their normal asking price.

The game was removed from Apple and Google app stores this week, meaning it can no longer be downloaded.

However, it can still be played on devices on which it is already installed, creating a burgeoning online market.

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The game involves a small bird being flown between gaps in green pipes via strategic thumb-taps, with devices which normally sell for well-below $1000 appearing every few minutes on online auction sites for double and triple that.

One gold-coloured iPhone 5s with Flappy Bird installed is listed on Gumtree.com with an asking price of $50,000. It costs $869 new.

Another seller on eBay was offering a Flappy Bird-enabled phone for US$100,000, though the listing was later removed.

Since the app was pulled, numerous knock-offs such as Flappy Bee and Flappy Fish have appeared on the Apple and Google app stores.

WHY FLAPPY BIRD?

Meanwhile, the game's developer Dong Nguyen confirmed to Forbes that the game is "gone forever".

Nguyen said he designed the game to be played intermittently when relaxed, but it became too "addictive".

"I think it has become a problem," he said. "To solve that problem, it's best to take down Flappy Bird. It's gone forever."

Nguyen, who reportedly received death threats since pulling the app, also claimed his life was burdened by the popularity of the game and he does not regret his decision to remove it.

The developer declined to say how much money he made from the wildly popular game, though some reports stated it raked in up to US$50,000 a day in advertising revenue.

Despite his troubles with the popularity of Flappy Bird, Nguyen told Forbes he would still continue to develop new games in the future.

Fairfax Media, AAP

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