SKIPPING SCHOOL: Check out the top apps in the iTunes education category, and it's a pretty sure bet that Toca Boca is on the list. The Stockholm-based company has about two dozen paid apps that have been downloaded 65 million times. In an interview with Gamesandlearning.org, Toca Boca CEO Björn Jeffrey explains why he won't sell to schools or implement a freemium model, and why the "education" category in the app store is a bit misleading:
Even in the App Store, all the apps are in the education category because that is where parents look for children’s products. Now are they, then, educational because they are in the education category? Not necessarily and looking at most of the apps, most probably not. This creates a very confusing environment for everyone.
When it comes to building games designed for the clasroom, Jeffrey says:
You’ve got to build a really, really good game or a really, really good toy for kids to really like it and engage in that. If there is not engagement and there is no usage than there is no educating anyway and that, I think, a lot of people here miss. They are so focused on the game being super correct from an educational standards that you almost forget about the kids…
"I don't see us as an education company," Jeffrey adds. "If they can be used in an educational context great, but that's not the intent...If we were to take on education and do it that way, partly we would lose all our international business."