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PSA: That’s not the real Flappy Bird on Windows Phone

Since yesterday, our email box has been flooded with ‘tips’ about a certain fad game right now: Flappy Bird. Evidently, it’s now on Windows Phone. So where’s the link? Where’s our coverage?

Simply put, that game – and every other iteration – is a fake or pirated copy. That’s right. If you’re playing Flappy Bird on Windows Phone, congrats, you’re playing a clone, a rip off, a stolen version of the game, something made by some neckbeard in his mom’s basement. We tweeted that out, but we’re guessing many of you missed it or aren’t on Twitter.

OMG, please stop

The funny thing is, many of you are noting how ‘bad the gameplay’ is, which is entertaining because in many ways that is Flappy Bird. But we’re not giving the link because the guy who pirated it is collecting ad revenue through ad impressions and that’s kind of lame. And yes, we reported it to Microsoft.

But let us repeat: Flappy Bird is not on Windows Phone yet. In fact, the developer of the real Flappy Bird acknowledged that he’s a bit behind right now on the port. Hey, it’s one guy making the game, we can cut him some slack.

For future reference, here’s how you can detect if a game or app is real or fake: look at the publisher. Microsoft (and every other app store) always tells you who published the game. If it’s not published by a company you know, it’s probably not the real deal. For instance, Flappy Bird is published by Gears Studio and developed by Dong Nguyen. If you see anything else as a publisher, well, it’s not the real thing.

We’ll be sure to tell you when the real Flappy Bird arrives. But for now, you’re not playing the real thing, just a bad port

Anyone who does post Store links in comments, will be deleted. So don’t do it. Also, we love you guys, but please stop tipping us on this story, kthxbai!

Daniel Rubino
Executive Editor

Daniel Rubino is the Executive Editor of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft here since 2007, back when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and arguing with people on the internet.

  • Seriously, we had like a 100 email tips on this, plus on Twitter and our forums. Kind of shocked by the 'excitement' for this game, which many of you will actually not like.  I was hoping things would die down this morning and we could just ignore this story, but alas, the tips be a raging in...
  • Me like it!
  • Not like Flappy Bird isn't just a rip of the classic helicopter game anyways.
  • I just tipped you guys and now I'm reading this and I'm feeling so bad. I just posted some pictures with my score to IG twitter and Facebook I'm going to delete them right now and uninstall that thing right now. I'm so sorry for supporting that D bag who did that.
  • Isnt the app supposed to get submitted by microsoft first and then published? Then what the hell are they checking?
  • When you say 'they' you actually mean machine automation. There aren't real humans validating thousands of apps/games per day. 
  • Actually, im pretty sure people do test them, which is why it always takes a week to pass/fail. I've had some pretty human errors with app certification failures before.
  • Part of the cert process is automated, and the other part is human - hence why it takes 5+ days. You probably shouldn't comment on something your not sure about. Previous discussions with Microsoft, they refer to the "cert team" - im pretty sure the cert team aren't a bunch of computers.
  • Then let me rephrase: they don't have lawyers there checking to see if an app is pirated, copyrighted or clones. They simple check functionality, so the point is still moot.
  • I actually don't see why you are so all up in arms about this, when Rudy publishes let's say 6snap everyone rejoices and are singing happy songs about how awesome Rudy is but he is also collecting profit for his apps based on something that someone else made.   What this guy has done is the samething as Rudy, he has filled a hole in the ecosystem. Now i get that he shouldn't use the name "Flappy Bird" because that is misleading to consumers thinking that it is the official release but why come down so hard on this guy? Calling him a quote "some neckbeard in his mom’s basement" for no real good reason.   I understand that you want to promote the original creator but no need to be mean to a guy that just made an app. You are just as bad if not even worse then him. The app is not even a "bad rip-off". It's really well made and is real close to the real thing.   I suggest you remove your insults, a news site is supposed to report news not harrass people.
  • Same sentiment here!
  • @Toxid_Fox I'm not open to any of your suggestions, sorry. The point is, people want the REAL game and we're telling them that they are playing a pirated copy. It's more or less to get people to stop tipping us since the game is not out yet. 
  • A reporter not open to suggestions from his readers. Daniel is being very out spoken recently. I agree, there is no need to be personal about the guy, although i also agree that it should be stated that this is an unofficial copy.
  • I'm always open to suggestions. Just not these suggestions ;) I can disagree with people.
  • Its true tho, you praise that Rudy guy with his 6apps but yet you come down so hard on this rip off of flappy bird, you are sometimes very biased..
  • Flappy Bird and the apps Rudy make aren't even in the same league. 
  • He didn't create a Vine clone. He didn't create an Instagram clone. He didn't create a Tinder clone. He didn't create a Snapchat clone. What Rudy did is make an app for each of these services, which use THEIR services. He didn't rip off anyone's ideas. There's a difference between a third party client and developing a clone. One's original, the other one requires no thought or heart.
  • Wmpoweruser reported it yesterday and they were very clear that it was fake.
  • You'll have to excuse his frustration, theyre getting flooded with tips via email and Twitter. You cant compare this guy to Rudy. Rudy makes it ABSOLUTELY clear that his apps are unofficial. He normally gets the original creators blessing or they turn a blind eye. He's also respectful of their policies (no screenshot in 6snap, even though its by far the No.1 most requested feature for the app. He's getting 4 stars when he should be getting five, because people dock him for lack of screenshot.). This dude just pulled an audacious rip off. He made no attempt to distinguish this from the genuine article and is using the opportunity to make money off of someone elses creation without their consent. I'd say little to no work was put into this, he probably ripped it from Droid and force fed it into WP. Furthermore, the "real" deal is on the way, as he more than likely knew. Though the irony of the shameless clone getting shamelessly cloned is certainly not lost on me.
  • +1  I'm certainly not calling Flappy Bird - the real one - some original creation. I get the irony. But at the same time, I want our audience to know if they are playing the 'real' game from Gears Studio or some clone. 
  • And I'm grateful that you do. Rather than those nameless WP sites that have been promoting it despite knowing that its a fake. Integrity - you guys have it.
  • Then wpcentral should stop promoting any app that use private APIs without the consent of the owners. That's piracy too and includes Rudy's apps, I want to see Rubino insulting and condemning Rudy because of his immoral conduct.
  • Why are you so intent on defending this no name developer? Rudy has permission to use Instagrams API, he's likely been commissioned by the CEO of Tinder to make their official app for WP, or at least assist on it. At the very least he puts his own spin on well known apps and NEVER claims them to be his creation. That much is always clear. This other chap just did a copy and paste job.
    Maybe it was a little overboard with the name calling(if you can even call it that) , but Dan and the lads are very passionate about WP and the ecosystem, they don't want rubbish clogging up the store.
  • This article is an overreaction, It's not the first time coming from Daniel Rubino. He should make an effort to keep his emotional instability for his private life and be more professional. If you are going to do some moral judging should be based on clear rules and conviction, not in your moods. Equanimity is important. I don't know if Rudy has permission to access the Instagram's APIs, especially now that they have an official app. But what about 6sec and 6snap? Why does wpcentral talks about these apps even though the developer is making money through ads using stolen data?  
  • Yawn. Read this. Ignoring it. The point, you missed it. We're simply telling people this is a FAKE game and not the real thing. You think it's fine that people are mislead into using a fake game, you're a true hero. Many people are tipping us thinking it is real, when it is not. The app is deceptive, plain and simple. If you can't understand that, then I'm not wasting my breath. Deal with it. If you wanna have a circlejerk about apps using closed APIs, knock yourself out. That's a separate discussion from this since APIs here are not at issue.
  • Lmfao! Circlejerk haha !
  • #circlejerk
  • Well said.
  • The difference is that this is a pirated version, someone basically took the Android version and probably reposted it, but for WP8. Which is unlike Rudy,because Rudy actually makes his own apps, different names,even different sets of features, from the real (or coming soon) apps. Please don't compare the two again, kind of disrespectful to Rudy. ;)
  • Sir yes sir, shall never compare the two again..btw what's that brown stain on your nose?
  • Agreed. The tone of the article is really off-putting.
  • Dan isn't stealing credit by using the name INSTAGRAM on his app. This publisher is using FLAPPY BIRD, which is disingenuous, misleading, and making all neckbearded folk look bad.. His product, although similar, is not claiming to be the real deal.
  • 100% agree 
  • Difference is that Rudy uses his own codes...this game is stolen code.
  • Lol after reading this i felt like my parents just yelled at me for doing something wrong lol
  • Hah, nah I get the excitement. Well, kinda. We're just literally overwhelmed with tips on this, it's flooding our email box and hiding some real gems. I was hoping today it'd die down, but it's just the opposite, so we had to say something on the matter. It's actually a fascinating study in memes, fad games and the power of social networks to spread something so innocuous. The whole rise of Flappy Bird, which has been out for nearly a year, is truly bizarre but instructive.
  • I've been playing it on my iPad, and I really get annoyed by it.
  • Why do you even have an iPad?! ;)
  • This!
  • He's struggling to put in all the subliminal messages which clearly adorn the game...because having seen it, I don't see the appeal. But hey! More power to the genius. We can be happy he even acknowledged WP users...which is a lot better than some devs. As for these pirated copies...what absolute idiots! Makes me mad to see people's work being so blatantly stolen like that...and to have the pirate dev actually make money makes it 100 times worse!
  • I am shocked all the time at games/apps that appear to become popular.  I tried this game and was bored instantly.  eh. To each his own.
  • You shouldn't be shocked at the 'excitement' for this game, as simple as it is it's the most popular game on iOS right now.
  • ...a game that has been out for nearly a year already. Trust me, everyone in the biz is shocked by this. It's not a new game. It's not an original game. But all of a sudden, it's huge. It didn't appear in any movies, TV or celebrity endorsement. How'd it get so big? Why is it catching on, after a year of no attention?
  • Maybe because you have already written 3 articles about the game??
  • You're logic is this: a game came out of nowhere to become the #1 free game on iOS and Android, was caused by my three articles about Windows Phone, talking about how it is coming, made it the top free game on iOS and Android. We call that circular logic, where I'm from.  Read my first article where I detail how the game is the 'next big thing' with MSN News reporting on  it. You're confusing causation with being on top of trends.
  • No, your mistaken, I did not mean that the game became huge on Android and ios because of your 3 articles. I meant alot more wp users started paying more attention to the game after your articles..Here in Philly we call your statements jumping to conclusions.
    No disrespect but your last article was a lil harsh, talking abt that guy making the app in his mums basement lol..actually come to think of it, that was funny :)
  • I laughed at a few iphone/android users who were battling each others score... then I downloaded the game. Now I must improve my score!
  • Its down to Vine, I'm 99% certain of it. People following the leader. Just an example of a viral game or a meme, basically.
  • Pewdiepie a famous Youtuber made a video about it and boom the next day it was the hottest thing around, surprised that no one knows this by now
  • Sorry I tipped you yesterday. When I downloaded it there was no reviews or ratings and it was pretty much brand new so I didn't think there would be so many other people doing the same thing. Technically it wasn't an original tip because I found out in the WPC forums. I guess I pulled an IG studios on the person who wrote the forum post.
  • Haha awesome, surprised you didnt post this yesterday
  • Twitter isn't my thing anyway, I think I saw an app named bird flap last night
  • So this guy & his publisher are supposedly making $50k a day from advertisements in this game...
  • Its not the real deal that's a shocker
  • Says who? I work in affiliate marketing and this seems a lot to me.
  • Probably better to have too much information and then be prudent on what gets reported.
  • Hey , ain't you using outlook?!!?!?
  • For personal, absolutely. For work? Our company, Mobile Nations, uses Gmail. Not my choice.
  • Ok :)
  • Good to know your stance on Admail.
  • By the way, what is your email? The wpcentral mail ?
  • daniel at wpcentral dot com
  • I suggest that you make a review about the client, (unofficial ) it belongs to the developer fela...
  • How unfortunate, being forced to feed Big Brother Google...
  • really?? MS literally sleeps with NSA and this is what you think about Google?
  • I still don't trust MS, I just trust Google even less than that...
  • The game's a massive rip off of games that were available 20+ years ago anyway, so no big deal that there are clones is it?!?
  • What is flappy bird? I guess I'll figure it out once it comes to WP. Until then, I guess I don't know what I'm missing out on.
  • I agree with the members saying "no idea why it is popular" because it is so incredibly simple...but basically you are a little 8-bit bird that flys when you tap the screen. The goal is to fly in between little Super Mario looking pipes (thus why people call it a rip off), but it is incredibly difficult/impossible and an average user will get somewhere between 0 and 2 pipes per game; and a game might last 3-5 seconds. Some say that is the major draw, you can kill any amount of time with it, be it 10 seconds to 10 minutes.
  • And this dude is making 50k a day in advertising? Wow.
  • It would be very funny if one of these clones turns out to be better than the original game.
  • Yes it is. The concept/theme is same but the controls are smoother. I played this game on my ipad 3 , though it have a big screen , it is difficult to play , the game is difficult , need to tap many times , but this game is lot easier to play. Earler my high score was just 4 and now on my lumia 920 it is 10 :D will try to improve it. Now waiting for the official one :)
  • Really shocked by how much attention this game has recieved.  Would love to know exactly what kicked it off. The game is simple & addictive, but there are so many out there in all marketplaces that are in a similar vein.  
  • Pewdiepie, Youtuber
  • The game itself is based off ripped art, did you read the article over at Kotaku? Don't even support the "original" game.
  • Floppy app. :P
  • Good to know.. Played 5 min and now it went directly to the recicle bin.. Waiting for the real game for another 5 min of playing :)
  • I played it just to see what the fuss is about. Awful concept.
  • Urgent:Did you guys know that the flappy bird app on wp8 is a fake...ha ha..of course you did! That was my lame attempt at humor and this is why I have way too much time on my hands!
  • The dev said that he's being hounded by the press and its affecting his ability to code.
  • The game may be a clone but it fixes one of the things I dont like about de iOS(maybe android) version. The way you start a game after you lose its more simple. Less buttons/time to wait, you just lose and the next game is just a touch away. Even the graphics looks more polished, and the birds changing colors in every game you start is kind of a nice touch. Even iOS version lacks the "night" mode. Well at least is works for me until the real deal arrives.  
  • But the clone is the flappy bird game. So im playing it until the real one comes, which is kinda weird since this is already THE game. :|
  • According to a lot of the reviews, people don't really care that it's a knockoff, they're just happy to be playing the game. I love my phone and I don't play all that many games, but one of the reasons for lower market share is because developers don't want to create apps (this is a double edged sword.) Until then, the majority of users wont care if its a fake game, they'll just be happy to have something. I applaud Dong Nguyen for not completely shutting out WP and saying he's going to develop for us.
  • That's what I always do before downloading and installing any app. I always check who is the publisher. I always install apps and games from original publishers. If at all an official release is not there and I'm in need of the app, then I look for the best third party app available. The moment I saw the Flappy bird gmae on the Windows Phone store, my eye first went on the publisher and seeing it was a clone didn't bother to read any further.
  • +1
  • The gameplay is almost similar
  • 17 is my high score so far lol
  • It's not pirated, it's just a complete replica. The gameplay is completely different than on iOS, I have an iPod as well. So MS can't technically remove it since it's just an app with the same name and the same UI, unless it's copyrighted by Gears Studio
  • So you're in favour of not supporting the original devs? Honestly? Even if it's not copyrighted it's their work and their brand. It's disingenous.
  • These trivial games are all so lame anyway. How about spending your spare time reading a book instead? That's my bullshit mantra, but what use is it to you?
  • Wait, I thought the guy submitted it?
  • Actually flapy bird isn't such a game, but what make it so popular is its simplicity and short , and being famous at vine ( its the main reason)
  • I just wonder how this situation could any be different when Instance came out but it was well supported by almost all wp websites. Just curious.
  • Really? Let me give you the basics. Instance wasn't called Instagram. Instance wasn't a complete clone of the Instagram app. Instance wasn't pretending to be the official app. The real Instagram wasn't coming out in days Did I really have to spell that out?
  • No one seems to respect someone's work, unfortunately.
  • I don't know why you guys from wpc make such a drama about this copy... There are a lot of copies anyway in the store and better to have a copy than having nothing!
  • It's a 'drama' because (1) We're damn tired of all the 'tips' from you guys on this (2) we're telling you no, this is not the real game, which is why we're not covering it
  • If you don't want "tips" then remove the tip us button. Most who tipped you thought it was the real deal.
  • Amazing how many are actually defending this stupid ass game.
  • Are you more important than the millions of people who have downloaded this stupid game?
  • Well that's a dumb question. Of course I am.
  • It's better to have the real thing than countless copies.
  • How many days for flappy birds to arrive on wp?
  • What about telegram?
  • But, it, is, the same. All the same except the medal! The clone doesnt have MEDAL!!!
  • Hey guise i herd flappy burd is out
  • People really want this game? Seriously? Ugh.
  • IT Does not matter if the developers didn't take so long putting it on WP this wouldn't never happened and I'm enjoyin it even if its a fake its better than nothing and why can't we get app and games as the same time apple and android get theres
  • I agree with you. Until we start getting official apps and games in a timely manner, nobody will care if the one app available is a copy. They'll be happy to just be playing the game that all their friends are playing. The reason developers wont make apps is due to market share and the reason for market share is partly due to apps. That's slowly changing, but it's a long road. As long as the copy of the app/game works reasonably decent, people won't mind it.
  • Hahaha
    Hahaha All I can express are this laugh. Oh yeah, HAHAHA ! Anyway still waiting for the official one. :)
  • Hahaha that
    Kthnxbai at the end xD
  • So why yell at us for tipping what we thought was the real app that we are excited about? You could have notified us that that it was a fake without all the hatred in your tone.
  • Define 'hatred'. Because you're using it waaay more loosely than I think it is intended. What did I say that was hateful? It's not hatred, just a bit of frustration. We can't be constantly posting stories on what is not news, or what is not real. I mean, should we do a roundup ever day of things that aren't on Windows Phone yet? Or are just clones, pretending to be the real deal?  I personally emailed like 80% of you back yesterday telling you no, it's not real but a fake. While entertaining, it's a tremendous waste of my time.
  • I'm sure most who tipped you thought it was the real game. Most people don't know who .gears is.
  • Which is why I emailed them back to inform them instead of keeping them in the dark. I feel like I'm going in circles here....
  • Like talking to your wife...
  • Credit to you for emailing them back but that isn't going to stop others from sending in tips. It's a popular game that many people are excited to see, it makes sense that you would get heaps of tips for a game that looks so similar to the real thing. These people thought they were doing the wpc community a favour by sending in the tip, it's a bit harsh to be getting angry at them. It's all about the tone in your articles/comments.
  • I've never played the official version, but what from I can tell this seems to be a very good copy. Bad reproductions of known apps usually get widely panned in the reviews but this is holding 4 stars. Not bad for a bootleg.
  • Well, in fairness, it IS a super simple game, so I don't expect too much difficulty.
  • True
  • It would be 5 stars if it wasn't for the 1 star fake comments lol
  • It's not a big problem at all
  • Lmao all this fuss over a copy. You're a 'major' tech news site and you're complaining about getting tips from your users. Spare your rage reply. Don't want you busting a vein.
  • Walk a mile in a man's shoes...
  • At one place you can't stop covering clone apps like 6Tag and 6Sec, yet you have a problem with a clone game?
  • If you're so ignorant to see how these examples are not the same, I can't waste time to point it out.  Us informing the audience that they are not playing the real game is not a double standard. 6tag is not Instagram. A third grader knows that from its NAME.
  • 6Tag is instagram regardless of whatever way you want to spin it. If it's not Instagram, pray tell me what is it? 
  • It doesn't look like Instagram i.e. the same layout and it's not called Instagram. You're confusing services and APIs to access them, with games. You can have third party access to services, like Flickr, who can do it better. Some companies welcome that and encourage it, which is why they have OPEN APIs in the first place. Instagram has APIs, they're just not completely open (they're open to view, but not post).  Instagram doesn't care so much about companies or individuals making apps for their service. What they DON'T want is for you to search for 'Instagram' and find an app called 'Instagram' that is NOT from them. That's why they went after companies with 'gram int their titles. 6tag is 'fine' by them, which is why it's still in the Store. Make an app and call it 'Fli