The app returned early Sunday morning Japanese time.
Monster Strike, the current top mobile game in Japan in terms of sales, has disappeared from the Japanese App Store today (Saturday Japan time).
It wasn’t operator Mixi (2121) that pulled the app, but it seems that Apple just “erased” it without a prior warning.
At the time of writing (2145pm Saturday Japan time), Monster Strike is not visible in any ranking (on both the iPhone and iPad), can’t be searched for, can’t be updated, etc.
Mixi says the Apple hammer hit around 6pm today, but Japanese Twitter user and game planner @SociApp posted this tweet a little earlier.
It shows the top 5 grossing games on iPhone in Japan without Monster Strike:
— TsubApp(ツバップ) (@SociApp) August 29, 2015
In short, Monster Strike on iOS is gone and not really playable at the moment: buying orbs, for example, isn’t possible. Mixi’s other apps, including Monster Strike spinoff Monster Stadium, are not affected by the Apple ban.
So far, Mixi itself isn’t saying much. The company did, however, update the official Monster Strike page with a message that indicates Apple saw problems with a serial code input form inside the app and asked to remove it.
It’s unclear at the moment when the app can go back up. No other information has been given so far.
Just a few days ago, I released an article mentioning that Monster Strike is generating sales of around US$4.2 million per day – or around US$175,000 per hour.
Even though the number includes sales of the Android version (which is not affected), sales are probably even higher on the weekend, which means that literally every hour counts for Mixi now.