It’s been almost six months Flappy bird officially ended its meteoric rise in the mobile app store charts, which was removed by Vietnamese creator Dong Nguyen out of discomfort with the game’s addictiveness and unexpected attention from fans and haters. Now, after hinting that the game could return in the future, continued Flappy Birds family quietly appeared on the Amazon App Store, touting its compatibility with the Fire TV set-top box.
The Amazon page suggests compatibility with “Android 3.0”, but the game doesn’t seem to install on any device except the Fire TV set-top. The listed developer, Dotgears, has yet another Fire TV game to its credit, the Nguyen-developed Super Ball Juggling.
Flappy Birds familyAmazon’s product description praises “incredible new features” such as “Person vs Person mode, more obstacles, more fun, and still really hard.” In addition to local split-screen multiplayer and multiple colored birds, the game now features hovering, cloud-shaped ghosts to avoid and standard Mario-style pipes. “Enjoy playing the game at home (don’t break your TV) with your family and friends,” the description says.
While Flappy Birds family is free (like its predecessor), the game doesn’t have the kind of ads that earned Nguyen a reported $50,000 a day for the first game. That might suggest that Family comes to the Fire TV via a sort of paid exclusivity deal with Amazon, which seeks to differentiate its video player-meets-casual gaming console with exclusive content from its own studios. However, if that’s the case, Amazon doesn’t appear to be loudly trumpeting that fact with any sort of announcement or press release at this point (Amazon didn’t immediately respond to the request for comment). Or maybe the game is coming soon to iOS and Google Play stores and the exclusivity is temporary.
Flappy bird is definitely the sort of big-name exclusive that might get people to take another look at Fire TV’s gaming potential, but we’re not sure it’ll turn out to be the great app Amazon seems to want. Even with the new features, there’s a big difference between a mobile time-filling game that became a phenomenon and one that will appeal to people sitting in front of the giant flat-screen TVs in their living rooms.