Well it was bound to happen sooner or later: Nintendo's refusal to embrace the App Store has resulted in an extremely high quality Pokémon clone taking the top overall spot on the marketplace. The game is called Micromon, and it's not some half-baked rip-off. This is money Nintendo could be making right now, but it refuses to cash the check.
I've talked at length about Nintendo's relationship with the App Store in the past. The company is too stubborn for its own good, and that refusal to embrace the smartphone and tablet markets is leaving the window open for other companies to swoop in and eat Nintendo's cake.
Poppy Kart -- the fantastic Mario Kart clone I highlighted a few months ago -- gained a good deal of popularity, but even at its most popular point it didn't break the top 500 overall apps. Micromon is number one, overall, and it's a paid app. At US$0.99, it rocketed to the top spot on its first day of availability (July 31) and has remained there ever since.
In terms of making money, Micromon's in-app purchases have helped to place it firmly in the top 40 grossing apps -- in the same neighborhood as FarmVille 2 and Minecraft Pocket Edition -- all within its first week of release.
Can you imagine if Nintendo had relaunched an old, official Pokémon title on that day instead? Even something like Pokémon Yellow, which originally launched 16 years ago, would sell like hotcakes on iPhones and iPads. An absolute minimum of effort on Nintendo's part is all it would take for that to happen. Well, that and Nintendo would have to get over its weird obsession with try to beating smart devices at their own game.