“Flappy Bird was designed to play in a few minutes when you are relaxed,” says Dong Nguyen. “But it happened to become an addictive product. I think it has become a problem. To solve that problem, it’s best to take down Flappy Bird. It’s gone forever.”
The interview was conducted on the condition that Forbes not reveal Nguyen's face. It was delayed several hours because the developer had a sudden meeting with the country's deputy prime minister. Nguyen told Forbes that his parents didn't know that Flappy Bird existed until media coverage spun out of control a few days ago.
The 29-year-old, who sports a close-cropped haircut, appeared stressed. He smoked several cigarettes over the course of the 45-minute interview, and doodled monkey heads on a pad of paper.
Nguyen says he has no plans to remove Super Ball Juggling and Shuriken Block, his other games which he calls 'harmless'. However, if he thought they were getting to addictive he would not hesitate to remove them.
Nguyen said that it was guilt – atop the fact that “my life has not been as comfortable as I was before” – that motivated him. “I couldn’t sleep,” he said. He added that his conscience is relieved; he spent the past few days, Internet-free, catching up on slumber.
“I don’t think it’s a mistake,” he says. “I have thought it through.”