March 16, 2012 at 10:27 PM ET
UPDATED Ranked No. 16 in the iTunes App Store's "Top Grossing Apps" is an app called "Girl With Clothes." Released March 13, we have some inkling about why this app is such an overnight success. It's probably the monster $160 price tag -- though the vague promise of "intense sexual content" probably doesn't hurt, either.
We didn't buy it. Sorry, but $160 is a lot for an app that isn't even optimized for iPads (old or new). The description of the app gets to the point in spite of its poorly written self:
It is a simple game.you can dress up the beautiful girl.
Despite that plain blurb, Apple slapped a warning of "Frequent/Intense Sexual Content or Nudity," along with the accompanying 17-or-older download restriction. What type of sexual content is in there -- that's what's unclear.
The single screenshot available suggests that the game's entire activity is swapping various sexy dresses on a hot pink-haired manga illustration. As suggested by Apple's warning, there's probably a state of nudity between outfits, yet the very notion that anything coming from this type of interaction would be "intense" let alone "sexual" seems to be as pathetic as any person who would spend $160 on limited-function anime in order to get kicks.
I've already reached out to Apple to see if there are any details on the app or why it made it through the generally daunting approval process. I have also sent a note to the "Girl With Clothes" publisher, which goes by "girl 123," asking why the app costs so much, and why Apple might associate with "intense sexual content."
I suspect that the whole thing is a marketing ploy. The creators probably bought a few copies for themselves, in order to propel the game into the Top Grossing category. I gotta admit, it worked -- they got our attention, and probably the attention of many others as well.
Now, let's see if it's enough to get suckers to buy it. That would be real marketing magic.
Updated Friday, 10:25 p.m. ET: Apple responded to me, saying they've pulled the app. Sure enough, there's no longer evidence of the $160 game anywhere. The developer has yet to respond.