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Vietnamese creator of Flappy Bird teams up with Japanese developer on ninja game

Wednesday, January 13, 2016, 16:32 GMT+7

Vietnam’s renowned app developer Dong Nguyen is collaborating with a Japanese firm on a game slated to be unveiled in 2016, three years after the Vietnamese shot to fame with the Flappy Bird sensation.

.GEARS, a game studio co-founded by the Hanoi-based programmer, announced on Sunday that it had agreed to a co-development deal with OBOKAIDEM to design a “new ninja game which will be released in 2016.”

The Japanese game developer is a brand operated by Tokyo-based Media Kobo.

OBOKAIDEM was founded just last year and has since released several apps aimed at the Japanese and global market, such as arcade game Pick-Xell, according to Kantan Games Inc., a game industry consultancy focused on the Japanese market.

.GEARS supplied no other details about the agreement, while OBOKAIDEM also said nothing but provided a link to a review about the project on TouchArcade, a website dedicated to iPhone and iPod Touch gaming.

TouchArcade said in the January 1 article that the two game studios are working on something called “N Project,” which should hit App Store sometime this year.

“It will be fascinating to see whether or not the duo can recapture the lightning in a bottle that was Flappy Bird, as duplicating App Store success has been a massive challenge even for big players in the scene,” the website said.

The Vietnamese developer, in the meantime, apparently did not want to spill the beans too soon, as he talked noting about “N Project” on his Facebook and Twitter.

But a photo he uploaded on Facebook on November 17 is now believed to feature the characters of the game under the “N Project.”

The characters, wearing ninja costumes in three different colors, have the same pixelated graphics as Dong’s previous games, Flappy Bird, and its sequel, Swing Copters.

Even though he is a household name in the world’s mobile game industry, Dong rarely speaks to the media in Vietnam.

But the developer grabbed national headlines on December 22, when he had an unorthodox meeting with Google CEO Sundar Pichai at a sidewalk café in Hanoi, during a Vietnam trip of the Indian-born technology executive.

Dong, who goes online by the name Dong Nguyen, released the addictive Flappy Bird on May 24, 2013, but the game would only become popular worldwide in early 2014.

At the end of January 2014, it was the most downloaded free game on App Store.

During this period, its developer claimed that Flappy Bird was earning US$50,000 a day from in-app advertising as well as sales.

The 30-year-old removed Flappy Bird from both App Store and Google Play on February 10, 2014, due to guilt over what he considered to be its addictive nature and overuse.

The removal also came as it became debatable whether Dong should pay taxes for the huge earnings his app generated.

In August 2014, Dong resurrected the game and renamed it Flappy Birds Family. But it was only available for download from the Android app store and could be played merely on Amazon Fire TV, which is a digital media player that allows users to play video games with the included remote, through a mobile app, or with a game controller.

Later that same month the developer introduced Swing Copters, considered another Flappy Bird sequel. The new game was expected to be Dong’s second hit of 2014, but it failed to find fame.

In late 2015, Dong released Swing Copters 2 and the game appears to be more attractive to gamers worldwide than its predecessor.

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