@zachwill dissecates the number of reviews of Flappy Birds and brings *some* light into the “overnight success”.
In late December and early January, I’m guessing Dong Nguyen probably usedsome sort of service to download/rate Flappy Bird on the App Store. The end goal was probably to generate some buzz for a game that originally had been released at the end of May and then updated in September for iOS 7. With six months of nothing happening on a game he had made in a week’s spare time, a marketing experiment around the holiday download season couldn’t hurt.
It worked. Flappy Bird started getting over 20 reviews a day (sometimes a whole 5 reviews in a single hour). At the time, this had to be somewhat encouraging. I mean, with weeks of nothing happening, 20 reviews every day from the end of December until the beginning of January had to be a good start.