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The Only Minecraft "Girl Empowerment" Company Releases Three Groundbreaking Products
TEL AVIV, Israel, Jan. 31, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- TOYA, the Minecraft content-creator with a unique niche in the gaming world, is releasing three new products simultaneously in February. The multiple product launch is a first for the Israeli startup, founded by entrepreneurs Anat Shperling and Yifat Anzelevich. The two women are creating a brand of digital games and media designed to inspire children, especially young girls, to realize their full potential, and to know the accomplishments of women who have changed our world.
"The Chocolate Factory Mystery" takes players through an abandoned factory in Brazil that once manufactured some of the best and most famous chocolates in the world. Players move through levels that challenge them to use actual chocolate-making skills, such as choosing and grinding cocoa. With the help of Whysa, an eccentric old lady who appears in every TOYA game, players are tested to see if they can be "the one" who re-opens the famous factory. If they succeed, players can choose flavors and make chocolate bars to sell in the Minecraft store, with a better understanding of the hard work and little bit of magic required to succeed in the business world.
As a complement to the Chocolate Factory's Brazilian origins, TOYA is also launching a new Brazilian skin pack of costumes that celebrate the country's famous Carnival. The costumes are inspired by two São Paulo samba schools run by women – the Golden Roses, led by Angela Basilio, and Mocidade Alegre, led by Solange Bichara Rezende – which took first prize in the Carnival in the last two years. They highlight the creativity and color with vibrant design that it takes to win the festival. Basilio and Alegre have been running their respective teams since 2003, and provide a women's perspective to the samba of São Paulo.
In a very different world, TOYA players will also get to discover the hidden treasures of Alexandria, Egypt, in a game called "Desert of Secrets." Players seek Cleopatra's nine Sea Heart Diamonds, and bring them back to the throne.
"It's important to us as a company to provide an array of international experiences and representations to an international audience," said Shperling, TOYA's CEO. "Setting games in Egypt and in Brazil expands the TOYA universe and the experiences we can provide to young players, especially girls, who will learn from exposure to different cultures.
"The Brazilian costumes in the skin pack were so much fun to design," said Anzelevich, TOYA's COO. "Like the Mummers and New Orleans krewes in the U.S., successful samba schools in Brazil are rarely run by women. Honoring Angela and Solange for their accomplishments in Carnival continues our theme of providing a variety of role models for young gamers. "
TOYA is dedicated to developing new Minecraft games as an alternative to the "for girls" focus on fashion, pets and homecare that is typically applied to grade-school-age girls. The company is designing for boys as well: research indicates that there is only one female for every five male characters in video games, and 76% of solo video game heroes are male, despite the fact that half of online gamers are female. Since the playful learning experience enables gamers to become explorers, adventurers and all sorts of heroes, TOYA's aim is that boys, too, will gain from experiencing the accomplishments of exceptional women from around the world. The company's first two Minecraft games, inspired by the work of renowned gorilla researcher Dian Fossey and Japanese mountain-climber Junko Tabei, were released in November and December 2017.
"It's a challenge for our small company to get three products to market at the same time," Shperling said. "But our team is dedicated to the unique values of TOYA, and expanding our product line quickly is a key strategy for reaching new audiences. It's another landmark for the TOYA approach: fun, interesting but with the serious purpose of empowering girls around the world."
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