London, UK, 25th January 2017 – Imagine you could learn a foreign language through playing a video game. London-based start-up Wibbu are creating a new game that will level up players’ language skills in the real world.
Launching in March 2017, Ruby Rei is Wibbu’s first full-length language learning video game for mobile. A third-person adventure game, Ruby Rei teaches players a foreign language through Wibbu’s unique ‘game-first’ learning model. The company is the brainchild of former linguists, language teachers and game developers who want to transform both games and education with a new approach to learner motivation.
Wibbu CEO, Dean Jacobs said: “We founded Wibbu to help people fall in love with learning languages by making it – quite literally – as enjoyable as playing a video game. Speaking another language is like having a superpower, enabling you to connect with others and spread empathy through communication. With Ruby Rei, players not only get a great game but they will also gain the superpower of speaking a new language.”
Founded in 2013 by four friends working out of their living room, Wibbu has grown to 15 employees with offices in The City. Their ‘game-first’ model aims at motivating players through interaction and entertainment over traditional teaching methods. The launch of Ruby Rei comes after they successfully trialled a concept product in 2015 – they achieved over 250,000 downloads in under six months, ranking number one in the App Store’s Education category in 20 countries.
In Ruby Rei, players guide the eponymous Ruby on her journey across an unknown world where they must use their language skills to get her home. Players can choose which language they are immersed in when playing the game. Languages available at launch will be Spanish for English speakers, English for Spanish speakers, and English for Portuguese speakers. English for Mandarin speakers will be available in Summer 2017. The game will launch on iOS and Android for both tablet and mobile.
Notes to editors
- Contact – For questions or interview requests, please contact Andy Russell at [email protected] or +44 7588665575. For images or digital version of this release, visit www.wibbu.com/press
- About Wibbu – Wibbu is an educational video-game studio based in London, UK. It was founded in 2013 with the goal of modernising foreign-language learning. By crafting immersive video games to teach languages, Wibbu aims to foster genuine motivation, and emphasise interaction and entertainment over traditional teaching methods. They started by working from their freezing cold living room, heated by a homemade radiator made from plant pots and tea lights. They built a concept product and achieved 250,000 downloads in under six months, ranking at #1 in the App Store Education category in 20 countries. This attracted funding from the UK Government’s Sirius Programme for promising start-ups, as well as private angel investors. As of 2016, Wibbu are now are based in The City, where they have actual radiators, and are about to launch their first full-length game, Ruby Rei. For more information, please visit www.wibbu.com.
- Dean Jacobs – Dean is the CEO of Wibbu. After studying eight languages as part of his university undergraduate and postgraduate degrees, Dean went on to work for the UK Government as a linguist. Driven by the knowledge that languages could be taught in a more engaging way, and with an innate passion for new technologies, in 2013 Dean co-founded Wibbu with the aim of motivating young people to learn languages.
- Ruby Rei – Wibbu has taken the journey of the language learner as a force for good in the world, and blown it up on a galactic scale! In Ruby Rei, players guide the eponymous Ruby as she travels across an unknown world, trying to get home. As a character, Ruby embodies all of the things it takes to be successful in learning a new language: she is fearless, adventurous, curious, excitable, and ready for a challenge. Ruby wants to make new friends, explore new cultures, and find new and exciting ways to express herself.
The goal of creating Ruby was to make her enthusiasm infectious. She has a positive influence on her surroundings by resolving communication breakdowns and encouraging the people she meets (including confused warriors, grumpy gods, or depressed aliens) to be more considerate and engaged. For Ruby, every problem is merely an opportunity to learn something new. Language learners are also adventurous problem solvers who want to unlock new information and relationships through communication.