Now that Flappy Bird, a wildly popular smartphone game, has been pulled from the iOS and Android app stores, copycats and people on eBay are trying to profit from its absence.
On Monday morning, bids on eBay for an iPhone 5s, a smartphone that retails for $650, reached $99,900. No, it isn't dipped in gold or once owned by Justin Bieber. Instead, Vasil Kimiv had installed Flappy Bird on it.
"I'm shocked. I was the first one to post it, and then a couple of articles picked it up, so it got a lot of attention," Kimiv, 24, a surgical technologist from Beaverton, Ore., told NBC News. "I don't know why people are actually bidding so much."
Flappy Bird is the incredibly simple yet frustrating smartphone game that involves tapping the screen to keep a bird afloat. Over the last week, the game had skyrocketed in popularity, hitting the top spot in both the iOS and Android app stores and reportedly bringing in $50,000 a day in ad revenue for its creator, Nguyen Ha Dong.
On Sunday, the Vietnam-based Dong announced on Twitter that it was game over for Flappy Bird.
Now the gold rush is on. On Ebay, there are multiple listings for phones installed with Flappy Bird. Kimiv's phone had 74 bids from 22 different bidders. Apparently the early bird catches the highest bidder: A similar phone had four bids for $5,100, while other phones received no bids when asking for more than $1,000.
EBay isn't the only place where people were trying to cash in on Flappy Bird. Elance.com was filled with hopeful entrepreneurs offering money for Flappy Bird clones.
"I am looking to get a game developed that is the same as flappy birds (sic) was," wrote one person offering $1,000 to $5,000. “I am looking to replace the game that the developer deleted I need this done in the next day.”
That request shouldn’t be too difficult to accomplish. Dong has claimed that it only took him a few days to finish programming Flappy Bird.