Have you had your fix of Flappy Bird news? If you are a developer, you might want to read just one more. It has been reported that the Google Play Store and the Apple app store have been rejecting new applications that contain the word “Flappy” in the title.
In an effort to slow the addition of Flappy Bird clones to the stores, the major app stores are enforcing their policy to ban apps that contain false, fraudulent or misleading representations, including apps that attempt to leverage the names of popular apps.
This can be a nightmare for any legitimate apps that attempt to use the word “Flappy.” A quick search of the Google Play Store proves that a flood of “Flappy” clones are already present, making it nearly impossible to figure out that apps like Flappy Words, Flappy Turkey, Flappy Widgets and Flappy Fly are actually not clones.
Let’s take a look at the experience of Ken Carpenter of Mind Juice Media. Ken attempted to put his new app Flappy Dragon into the Apple app store and Google Play Store. Ken admits on Twitter that his app is inspired in part by Flappy Bird, but offers completely unique gameplay and original artwork. Ken put out an angry tweet about his rejection from the Apple app store with a few responses mentioning other developers that have also been blocked and recommendations to simply change his app name.
According to Carpenter, the Google Play Store allowed his app initially, but then removed it from search, and within 24 hours removed the app altogether. He claims that no fair warning email was sent to him, as is expected from Google before apps are removed from the Play Store. After the app was pulled, he was notified with a reference to the spam provisions of the Google Play terms and conditions, but without specific information as to what or how his app was in violation.
At this stage of the game, I might recommend to any developers of legitimately unique, currently unlaunched “Flappy” titled apps to consider a name change. And to those that have already published, I am afraid that the choice is yours, change your name at the risk of confusing your existing users, or remain unchanged and risk being lost in the flappy ocean.
Any developers have a horror story they’d like to share? And the rest of us, if you did not get the original Flappy Bird, what is your favorite alternative so far?