Really that got out of hand fast! I had no idea so many people would be interested in letting their toddler loose on their XBox controller. In fact, there have been many things that have surprised me about this app:
Acquisition rate has increased
I kind of expected an initial burst of acquisitions then a slow tail off but this hasn't happened. As it's only been a little over a month since ToddlerBox was released to the store, I guess there's every possibility that it's still in the "burst" stage and theres just more interest in apps of this type. Well, here's hoping.
Reviews have been extremely polarized
Almost without exception, reviews have been 4-5 stars or 1 star. Also, while a couple of the 1 star ratings are to do with app functionality (it seems a couple of people have issues running even this basic UWP app) the overwhelming majority of 1 star ratings are due to peoples dislike of ads; because...
Ads are a very risky business
As with most parents, I am extremely cautious about what my toddler is exposed to. Therefore I was extremely cautious about adding advertising as a means of revenue to ToddlerBox, regardless of how small or out of the way they were. After completing the Ad-Mediation questions in the Windows Store and being assured that ads would be both age rated and not "tracking", I felt a lot better about the idea and decided a small banner ad on the instructions screen would be pretty harmless. Furthermore, throughout the process of adding the banner, I didn't see a single advert I would be concerned about putting in front of my child; most were simple flashing inbox icons or the like. However, after discussing ToddlerBox with a friend, he decided to install it on his Xbox and I was very upset to see that the ads being displayed were both more intrusive and more "click-baity" than any I had seen previously. I am now investigating ways to generate some revenue from the app but without upsetting parents.
The reviews shown in the store are not "all reviews"
As the publisher of ToddlerBox, I get to see all reviews left about the app on the store. Due to all the previous points, the app is currently averaging about a 2.6 star rating across 50 odd reviews. However, when viewing the app in the Store on my friend's XBox, it was shown as having a 4.5 star rating from just 2 reviews. Now, while some of the reviews I can see are translated from foreign languages, most are in English and I'm therefore at a loss to explain why they're not being displayed when an XBox in the English local browses the store.
It's not just toddlers using ToddlerBox
I've had more than one review stating how good this game is to play after consuming various illicit substances ;0P
Anyway, as described above, while acquisition rate has fluctuated on a daily basis, the overall trend in acquisition shows unexpected growth:
Daily usage also shows that a healthy number of acquisitions are being used regularly, with nearly 800 people using ToddlerBox nearly 1700 times just yesterday (19th December):
So, the Xmas break is almost upon us and I will be returning my attention to ToddlerBox (yes, despite the career break, I try to spend most of my time working on 'serious' projects or study). I have a number of new features in mind for it (including the #1 requested feature of "sound!!") and will be looking to try out a couple of more features of the awesome Win2D library. It's going to be a lot of fun (for me and my little girl) and will hopefully allow ToddlerBox to reach the next major (although admittedly arbitrary) milestone of 25,000 acquisitions!
Watch this space...