After Dong Nguyen made good on his promise to withdraw the extremely popular game Flappy Bird from Apple’s App Store and Google Play yesterday, a host of opportunistic traders appear to have tried to cash in on proceedings.
Ars Technica writes that thousands of iPhones have been listed on eBay, with the standout feature being that they have the game installed. Clearly influenced by yesterday’s reports of the app earning US$50,000 a day in in-app ads, would-be sellers have dollar signs in their eyes, with listed prices ranging from hundreds into the high thousands of dollars.
One very hopeful seller from Philadelphia in the US had their ‘iPhone 5s 32GB with Flappy Bird Installed’ opening for bids at the incredible price of $40,000 (with a ‘buy it now’ price of $80,000).
At the time of writing, there were no bids.
This was true of many of the listed phones, though one iPhone 5 16GB White and Silver with the game installed, from a seller in Stevensville Maryland, had managed to attract six bids, even with a price of US$5655.
As Ars Technica notes, much of this should probably not be taken at face value. “As with any eBay gold rush, many of the listings (and the bids on the listings) are bound to be fraudulent. It didn’t take long for Ars gaming editor Kyle Orland to find a whole mess of suspicious-looking completed listings, all sold for several thousand dollars by accounts with little or no feedback,” says the site.
Naturally, Apple’s App Store has also already been inundated with hurriedly produced clones of the game, while Android users have a simpler time of accessing the game if they wish. There are sites that have posted APK files of the game, which users can sideload onto their phones and tablets if they have enabled the feature in their security settings. Ars Technica warns that caution should be applied by gamers taking this route, though. “Leaving the (relatively) safe, virus-scanned confines of the Google Play store may open you up to malware and other exploits if you’re not careful,” concludes the site.