Is ‘Flappy Bird’ really making $50,000 a day? Or is it closer to $6,000?

February 6, 2014
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Flappy Bird shot to the top of the charts months after its release, and despite our best efforts it's still unclear exactly why. Regardless, the question now is: is the game's Vietnamese developer, Dong Nguyen, getting filthy rich off his mad popularity?

The answer is unclear. Nguyen, despite requesting on Twitter that the media leave him alone, told The Verge that he's raking in $50,000 a day in ad revenue; but Pocket Gamer, after speaking with other developers and running some basic math, estimates that number might realistically be closer to $6,000.

Even on a good day, the site calculated—if 100 million people have downloaded Flappy Bird, they all play it at least five times a day, and three ads are served per play session—Nguyen could make about $30,000. More reasonable estimates put his earnings closer to just $6,000.

Of course there are a lot of assumptions at play here, including that Nguyen earns just 2 cents for every 1,000 ad views. But the site says that's a reasonably average rate, according to the sources it consulted.

So how much money is Flappy Bird actually making? We'll probably never know. But it's definitely safe to assume that Nguyen isn't going to starve any time soon.


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