我曾在Xbox 360、Leapster Explorer等多个平台发布了成百上千款儿童游戏，发现有些游戏开发者陷入了一个误区，即认为制作儿童游戏就像烘焙纸杯蛋糕一样简单！错！
此外，这个市场本身也在不断成长。NPD Group数据指出，儿童群体的平板电脑使用率已经从2011年的3%上升至2012年的13%，平板电脑在儿童用户群体中的使用率最高。这些儿童用户每周有5天时间使用智能手机、平板电脑或iPod Touch等移动设备，每次持续时长接近1小时。
谷歌在今年5月的I/O大会上指出，他们将针对教育领域推广成功的应用，这一领域用户超过2000万，并在秋季专门推出一个Google Play教育应用商店以满足教学需求。今年底，苹果iTunes App Store还将通过iOS 7增加一个专门的“儿童”游戏类型。
3.从家长入手。要同家长建立长期的关系。你可以通过游戏本身的设计，鼓励家长同子女“共享”游戏趣味——例如Fingerprint的《The Flying Alphabetinis》这款字谜游戏就是老少皆宜的家庭游戏。要成为家长的一种资源。运用你自身的长处来帮助家长跟进与家庭密切相关的重要市场、政治或社会问题（游戏邦注：例如儿童在线隐私保护法案）。此外，作为一种用户获取策略，最好要在家长经常出没的的地方占有一席之地，例如Common Sense Media。还要积极参与Techlicious等应用评价等网站的博客圈，以及最活跃的Facebook儿童教育群组，例如MomsWithApps或TeachersWithApps。
4.赢取荣誉。在诸多选项中，是否曾赢得一个奖项有助于家长决定下载还是跳过你的应用。这些适用于你的行业奖项包括Parent Tested Parent Approved, Parent’s Choice, Family Choice, National Parenting Publication Awards (NAPPA), Kids At Play Interactive Awards (KAPi)以及Kidscreen Awards。
Making and Marketing Kids Apps: Definitely Not Child’s Play
by Nancy MacIntyre
The following blog was, unless otherwise noted, independently written by a member of Gamasutra’s game development community. The thoughts and opinions expressed here are not necessarily those of Gamasutra or its parent company.
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When legendary game designer Tim Schafer created “Once Upon A Monster,” he talked about the magical moment when his daughter waved back at a character in the game.
Tim’s desire to create an interactive experience that he could share with his young daughter is a natural impulse shared by many developers as they become new parents, and one that seems more attainable than ever, thanks to indie-friendly distribution platforms such as iTunes, Google Play and Kindle.
I’ve launched hundreds of games for kids on platforms as diverse as Xbox 360 and Leapster Explorer. I’ve seen experienced game developers fall into the trap of thinking that making children’s games is as easy as frosting cupcakes! It’s not.
In fact, the market for children’s apps is even more complex than just about any other category. Many of the effective levers for driving virality in adult apps, such as Facebook social features and multiplayer hooks, are not possible with kid apps. New federal regulations governing children’s privacy put further restrictions on how publishers collect and use players’ personal information. And to complicate matters, the “players” (kids) aren’t the “payers” (parents). As a result, children’s apps have to work twice as hard to please two different constituents.
Then there’s what I call the “Packed Refrigerator” problem. App stores burst with options for kids — with as many as 88% of them free, according to NPD Group. That leads to a snacking behavior — kids sample and move on to the next app rather than develop a long-term relationship with any one title. More than 25% of all apps downloaded are only opened once, according to app analytics firm Localytics. Given children’s short attention spans, that is likely to be even more so with kids apps.
So why bother? The truth is many developers, including those of us at Fingerprint, believe that the potential payoff is enormous. The opportunity for apps to promote healthy social connections, spur creative thinking, and spark our children’s imagination is irresistible — particularly for technologists who thrive on figuring out ways to make things better.
It’s also true that the market itself is growing. Tablet usage among kids has soared from 3% in 2011 to 13% in 2012, with tablets being used most amongst younger children, according to the NPD Group. Kids spend about 5 days a week using mobile devices such as smartphone, tablet or iPod touch, with an average session lasting just under one hour.
Recognizing this growth opportunity, Google, at its I/O developer conference in May, said it will expand its successful Apps for Education program, which has more than 20 million users, to launch in the fall a dedicated Google Play For Education store catering to classroom needs. And, later this year, Apple will add a dedicated and curated “kids games” category to the iTunes App Store with the launch of iOS 7.
So how can developers succeed in the new app market? While the playbook is still being written and refined, here are five suggestions that we have found especially helpful in launching successful apps in the children’s category:
1. Make Great Apps. Your product will speak for itself and the better it is, the better it will do. At Fingerprint, we spend hours upon hours testing our apps with kids and families and we rely on the opinion of others to help validate what we think is a compelling experience. And, as you know, kids will readily speak their minds.
2. Get Apple on Board. More than just about any other marketing lever, being a Featured App or being included as part of an Apple-curated list moves the needle from obscurity to virality. How do you get Apple’s attention? Have a game that stands out — either because it is more beautiful, better than, or is completely unlike anything else — raises the chances of it being promoted by Apple. The new Kids Category in the App Store should really help, too!
3. Reach Out to Parents. Put yourself in a position to build an ongoing relationship with parents. You can do this in the design of the game itself, by encouraging “co-play” experiences that pull parents into the fun — such as Fingerprint’s The Flying Alphabetinis, a word scramble for the whole family. Be a resource for parents. Use your expertise to keep parents updated on the most important market, political or social issues (e.g., Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act) that matter most to families. As part of customer acquisition strategy, have a presence in places where parents congregate for trusted advice such as Common Sense Media. Plus, actively engage in the blogosphere targeting go-to sites like Techlicious for app reviews as well as participate on the most active Facebook groups such as MomsWithApps or TeachersWithApps.
4. Garner Awards. With so many options, having an award can help parents decide whether to download your app or skip to the next option. Some of the most popular awards to apply: Parent Tested Parent Approved, Parent’s Choice, Family Choice, National Parenting Publication Awards (NAPPA), Kids At Play Interactive Awards (KAPi) and Kidscreen Awards.
5. Plan Regular Updates. Rather than regard updates as a “treadmill,” look at them as opportunities to get another bite at the marketing apple. App downloads often spike right after an update is released for this very reason. Talking about your app’s new, better features is a great way to get back in front of the consumer.
6. Build a Strong App Store Presence. This means having compelling screenshots that convey the excitement of your app at a glance. Make sure that the description of your app is straightforward, while also telling readers, without hyperbole, why they should download your app. Give some thought to your search words. If you have a licensed title, make sure that’s part of the search terms. Include categories that parents and kids are most like to use in a search — going from the general (kids games, education, learning) to the specific (alphabet game, coloring). For example, if you have an app that teaches kids about money, search terms can include “math,” “ financial literacy,” “savings,” “allowance” and “budgeting.” In most cases, keep in mind that it’s an adult who is searching.
At Fingerprint, we believe the sheer size and reach of the children’s app market will ultimately exceed the impressive numbers achieved by traditional console market for kids. But the rules for success have changed substantially from the cartridge model — in ways that make things both easier to publish, but also exponentially harder to get traction. It’s not child’s play, but we agree with Tim Schafer when he said that the most rewarding thing about making a kids’ interactive title was “watching a parent help their kid play and play it together. It just feels like we have made something that has a really positive impact.”（source：gamasutra）