I’m comfortable enough in my own skin to tell you that I’ve been playing Flappy Bird over the last few days and enjoying it. The suddenly, bizarrely popular smartphone game may be both crude and near-impossible to play, but it’s also fun. At least as a brief diversion.
So when word came down that Flappy creator Dong Nguyen — in an act of defiance with no parallel that I can remember — was snuffing out his golden goose by removing it from the Apple App Store and Google Play, I did check my iPhone to make sure that my copy still worked. It did. I played a few games, then got back to my weekend.
But what if you’re a tad behind on your Internet fads and never got around to installing Flappy Bird when you could? Are you doomed to go through the rest of your existence wondering what what you missed?
Nope. Over at the hotbed of offbeat entrepreneurialism known as eBay, lots of merchants have put up iPhones and Android phones with Flappy Bird pre-installed. The market is so new that nobody seems to agree on how much to charge, but the listing shown above is for a Flappy-ready used 16GB space gray Verizon iPhone 5s that’s $1499 as a Buy It Now.
A comparable second-hand iPhone without Flappy Bird can be easily be had on eBay for $500 to $600, so in this instance, the game — which was an ad-supported freebie — commands a premium of $900 or more.
Or doesn’t. Doing an eBay search for items which have actually sold, I can’t find any evidence that anybody has bought any of these Flappy-Bird phones. Maybe it’s a category without a customer. But I wonder if sales would heat up if the sellers charged, say, $50 over the cost of a phone sans Flappy? Naw, let’s make that $25.
In any event, I don’t see myself playing the game for all that much longer. I’ve resolved to call it quits as soon as I score a 5. But just in case, I’m going to leave Flappy Bird on my iPhone 5. There may be McCrackens yet unborn who’ll want to play it someday.