PhotoSequels are almost always worse than the originals, so maybe it's not surprising that so far, the various followups to the Flappy Bird story have proven vastly less inspiring than the first tale.

The capsule summary of the original story is this: the immensely popular game app Flappy Bird disappeared from app stores last weekend. Game developer Dong Nguyen said he pulled the plug on it because the game proved too addictive. So he chose to walk away from up to $50,000 per day in ad revenue rather than keep his addictive app out there.

However, Flappy Bird addicts desperate for a fix could still get one via various Flappy knockoffs, including Flappy Whale, Flappy Plane, Flappy Angry Birds, and others.

Not so nice

That was a nice story. Here are the less-nice followups: first, the TrendLabs security blog discovered that the void left by the real Flappy Bird takedown is being filled by malicious Flappy Bird clones that are “Premium Service Abusers” — programs that send automatic messages to “premium” numbers, resulting in unwanted charges on your phone bill. (And, as always, many of these programs also steal whatever personal information is in your phone, too.)

Second, claims that Dong Nguyen has given up $50K in daily ad revenue aren't quite accurate, either — though Flappy Bird is no longer available for new players to download, the 50 million or so people who've downloaded it already are still playing and still generating ad revenue. (In fairness to Nguyen, though, he is not the one who claimed to be giving up $50K per day in ad revenue; that number was an estimate produced by outside observers.)

Smartphone owners with the legitimate Flappy Bird app on their phones tried cashing in by selling their phones on eBay, and received bids as high as $99,000 — until eBay pulled the plug on all such auctions, claiming that smartphones may not be sold on eBay unless they're restored to their original factory settings.


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