Microsoft, Sabi launch ItzaBitza, a game that makes learning fun

Sabi Inc., a Seattle-based startup company, and Microsoft Corp. announce the launch of ItzaBitza, a unique, engaging interactive drawing and reading game for children age 4 and older.

Sabi was created through the collaboration of the Microsoft IP Ventures program and Sabi co-founder and CEO Margaret Johnson. Sabi’s premier game, ItzaBitza, is the first in a series of powerful new games from the company that inspire creativity, exercise minds and deliver uniquely fun experiences.

“Our vision is to create a new gaming category that stimulates creative thinking,” Johnson said.

ItzaBitza’s unique approach to interactive learning is based on innovative breakthroughs in design and technology, conceived at Microsoft Research — along with the support and guidance of Craig Mundie, Microsoft’s chief research and strategy officer — and licensed to Sabi through Microsoft’s IP Ventures program.

“Game-based education is a very exciting concept, and one that we have been interested in for many years,” Mundie said. “The launch of Sabi’s game is a great example of our collaborative efforts to bootstrap young companies by providing them with guidance and access to innovative intellectual property.”

The game is built on a unique drawing recognition experience, called Living Ink, which identifies the drawing of certain objects and brings them to life so that the child’s art becomes an integral part of the game. Children then interact with the drawings, embark on different quests and create their own stories using the characters in the game.

“We wanted to take all we had learned while incubating our game designs at Microsoft and create a game we felt was a fresh approach to children’s computer games,” Johnson said. “We see ItzaBitza as the seed of an effort in which the games children want to play provide crucial creativity and reading skills they need to succeed.”

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