Flappy Bird creator's new game Swing Copters has already been cloned. A lot.

Flappy Bird creator's new game Swing Copters has already been cloned. A lot.
James Batchelor

By James Batchelor

August 21st 2014 at 4:49PM

Dong Nguyen's latest launches this week, alongside an army of opportunistic copycats

It's impossible not to feel sorry for Dong Nguyen.

First, he creates one of the most addictive mobile games in recent memory: Flappy Bird. And that's not a bad thing – the game quickly reached popularity levels that rivalled any iOS and Android title that went before it.

Then he pulled the game from app stores. That was a disappointing but not necessarily bad thing. Nguyen would have had his reasons – indeed, he later claimed it was because the game had become so addictive. Ultimately, it's his decision.

Within days, he had received death threats over that decision. Then copycat studios cloned his work, with dozens of new titles released every day.

Months passed, with hints and then confirmation that Flappy Bird might return. And earlier this month, Nguyen surprised the world with a sneak peak at his next game: the admittedly similar Swing Copters.

The title sees players guiding a character with rotorblades on his head upwards as he swings from side to side to avoid obstacles. It was released this week.

Then this happened:

We're not sure which is worse: the clones that simply copy the Swing Copters name verbatim, the ones that make a little effort to seem different (Swinging Copters, Swing Bird, Copter Bird Swinging), or the one that uses random cartoon boobs to gain that added smidgen of discoverability.

How can an independent developer even hope to earn money from his creations when they're copied wholesale within mere hours?

This is just pathetic.