WASHINGTON -- The mysterious developer who created the world's most popular free app says he permanently grounded Flappy Bird because "I couldn't sleep" over "what has become an addictive product."
In his first interview since pulling the app, Dong Nguyen tells Forbes "Flappy Bird was designed to play in a few minutes when you are relaxed."
Nguyen didn't expect his creation to skyrocket -- and he wasn't happy that it did.
"It happened to become an addictive product. I think it has become a problem. To solve that problem, it's best to take down Flappy Bird. It's gone forever," Nguyen tells Forbes.
Nguyen says guilt contributed to his decision to remove the app from the Apple App Store and Google Play.
"I couldn't sleep. My life has not been as comfortable as I was before," Nguyen says.
The interview with Forbes was conducted in a Hanoi hotel with the strict condition that Nguyen's face not be shown.
Forbes reports the interview was delayed because Nguyen "had a sudden meeting with Vietnam's deputy prime minister Vu Duc Dam -- a remarkable turn of events for someone unknown a week ago." The purpose of the meeting was not disclosed.
Nguyen denied the app had been pulled because of legal threats over similarities with Nintendo's Super Mario Bros.
Nguyen says he will continue to design games.
"After the success of Flappy Bird, I feel more confident, and I have freedom to do what I want to do."
He thanked mobile users for playing his game, but doesn't expect to change his mind.
"I don't think it's a mistake. I have thought it through."
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