PGC Digital: WildWorks on publishing games for kids

"There is a lot of room for growth in the kids' category"

PGC Digital: WildWorks on publishing games for kids

As part of Pocket Gamer Connects Digital #4, WildWorks CEO Clark Stacey discussed publishing games for kids on multiple platforms.

"Our focus on the kids' category has given us some unique insights," said Stacey.

Most apps targeted at kids have adopted a subscription model. However, the majority tend to be educational apps with only around 20 per cent of apps falling in the games category.

None of the top-performing kids' games is qualified to fall into the space for a younger audeince, as such games like Fortnite do not appear in the kids' section. Furthermore, publishers prefer to not fall under the children's genre.

Instead, Kids of at least 13 are the only ones that are able to access them due to being able to have an account.

The reasons that publishers do not want to be in the kids' category is that they would have to remove integrated social features. Moreover, they aren't necessarily safe for kids.

Growing up

"There is a lot of room for growth in the kids' category," said Stacey.

However, parents would like to see more parental controls built not only in games but in the app stores too.

Apps directed at kids, in the category, struggle due to missing a lot of social elements that are found elsewhere. Moreover, children's games will not hit the monetisation heights of more adult-based games.

However, Stacey claimed he would not want to see kids games make their money in the same manner as those in the games category.

For the top games to make money when only a few people pay for content, monetisation needs to be utilised well. However, children should not be "exposed" to this form of money generation, not at such a young age.

"They [kids] are biologically unequipped to make decisions," said Stacey.

When looking at lifetime value, the kids' category can perform well due to the subscription model that many have, where parents pay each month.

Be transparent

" I think the market for quality kids apps and games is phenomenal," said Stacey.

To be successful, WildWorks has added certain social aspects to Animal Jam, though this has been done with children's safety in mind.

To have IAP in kids games and be successful, it is essential to be transparent, make sure "parents and kids know what is going on." Moreover, free-to-play should remain so, do not redefine what it means to be "free."

Furthermore, upon purchase, that should be that in the kids' category. Once purchased, a child should have permanent access.

"Don't sell disappointment," said Stacey.

PGC Digital #4 will run from November 9th to November 13th. To keep up to date with all of our coverage, check out the roundups here. There's still time to sign up - to find out more and book a ticket, head to the website.

Staff Writer

Kayleigh is the Staff Writer for Besides PGbiz and PCGI she has written as a list writer for Game Rant, rambling about any and all things games related. You can also find her on Twitter talking utter nonsense.