Flappy Bird, the mobile game that sparked widespread controversy following its removal from digital stores in February, was the sixth most popular global search trend on Google this year, according to a list released by the search engine as part of its annual year in review post.
Video game systems, and entertainment devices as a whole, have made appearances in these lists before. Diablo 3 made an appearance as the fifth most popular search trend in 2012. But Flappy Bird, a game designed by one man, beat out several other major titles – including Destiny, Far Cry 4, and even Watch Dogs, which was notable for the large amount of pre-launch hype it received.
While search trends don’t necessarily mean anything, they do act as an indication of what consumers are actively seeking out. With recent video game trends swaying dramatically towards indie games, like Minecraft, Fez, and Papers, Please, Flappy Bird’s place on the list might make perfect sense. Still, it is interesting that it beat out games with multi-million dollar marketing budgets.
Flappy Bird initially left its mark on the gaming industry when creator Dong Nguyen announced he would be removing it from the mobile market due to the game’s addictive nature and his own privacy concerns after reportedly making over $50,000 a day. Almost immediately after, the app market was flooded with clones trying to emulate its success.
Flappy Bird’s success was followed by another mobile game, 2048, which ranked second on the video game list. FIFA 15, Destiny, and Titanfall rounded out the top five.