The Flappy Bird hype may be coming to an end as Apple and Google step in to keep clones from overtaking their app stores like the fart apps and flashlights of years past.
Apple and Google aren’t banning Flappy Bird style games, but a report on Techcrunch offers examples of both companies rejecting apps that merely hope to cash in on the Flappy Bird name with a Flappy in the title.
At this time, there are still a number of Flappy Bird inspired apps in the top 10 free iPhone app list including Splashy Fish, City Bird Flappy Flyer and Ironpants.
Dozens of Flappy Bird inspired apps appeared on Google Play and the Apple App Store last week after the Flappy Bird creator pulled his app from both app stores due to the addictive nature of the game and likely the increased attention from fans and users who lambasted the creator of the game.
According to the report Apple isn’t stepping in to prevent other tap style games, but wants to prevent app creators from flooding the App Store with games that might confuse consumers and leverage the popularity of Flappy Birds with a Flappy title.
Apple rejected Flappy Dragon citing the App Store Review Guidelines 22.2, according to the app’s creator Ken Carpenter.
“22.2: Apps that contain false, fraudulent or misleading representations will be rejected
We found that your app, and/or its metadata, contains content that could be misleading to users, which is not in compliance with the App Store Review Guidelines.
We found your app name attempts to leverage a popular app.”
One of the early Flappy Bird clones, Flappy Bee is now named Jumpy Bee and is out of the top 50 free iPhone apps. A Flappy Bee still survives on Android, but it is not clear if it is from the same developer or a clone of a clone.
According to an Android developer Happy Mage, Google is rejecting “Flappy” from game names and descriptions as well. Happy Mage writes, “Use of “Flappy is now treated as Spam.”
While Apple is cracking down on copycats that leverage the Flappy Bird name to get to the top of the app charts, City Bird – Flappy Flyer remains in the top 10 complete with a description that uses the Flappy Bird name,
“This game is inspired by Flappy Bird, a genious[sic] game made by Dong Nguyen”
Splashy Fish, a Flappy Bird style game that substitutes a fish remains at the top of the free app rankings and the number one search result for Flappy Bird on the iPhone App Store. This app does not use Flappy Bird in the description or name, but is still the top result. With over 20,000 ratings and a four star average it is clearly emerging as a fan favorite and the “Most Helpful” reviews mention Flappy Bird, which may be helping this app stay in the top of the rankings.
It’s not clear how long the Flappy Bird phase will last, but it looks like Apple and Google aren’t going to let it live on through just any app with the name Flappy in the title. There is no Flappy Bird trademark and the creator is not going after these clones according to the Android developer Dave Grant who claims Google kicked his apps off the Play Store.
The subject of App Stores patrolling similar games goes farther than the Flappy Bird fascination as indie developer Runsome Apps called out the maker of Candy Crush Saga for attempting to trademark Candy in relation to mobile gaming despite Ransome’s app CandySwipe arriving two years before Candy Crush.