Tsitso Tlali developed the game while studying for a degree in Applied Mathematics at Stellenbosch University.
It is based on a traditional cow herder’s game called Morabaraba, which he played in the hills of Lesotho as a child.
In the game, each player has 12 playing pieces or ‘cows’ which have to be arranged on a board to form groups of three known as mills. Once a mill is formed, the player can take an opponent’s cows.
Tlali approached InnovUS, the technology transfer company of Stellenbosch University, to help him commercialise the game.
Saberi Marias, InnovUS business developer, said they saw potential in his game immediately and offered to help him.
“We offered to help and ‘incubate’ his idea by providing office space, legal and business mentoring, as well as funding,” said Marias.
InnoVartis, a technology company, decided to license the game which was concluded late April this year.
The game will be made available on the web, iOS, Android and BlackBerry 10 by the end of the year and is currently in the public phase, in web app format, where it registered more than 500 plays by the end of April.
“I was fortunate enough to be selected by web FWD to develop, using their new HTML 5 technologies, which I am using to build the gross MRBRB platform for iOS, Android, BB10 and Mozilla Firefox OS,” said Tlali.
MRBRB falls under uBi Gaming, InnoVartis’s gaming division dedicated to the development of digital forms of traditional African games.
Tlali was offered a permanent position at uBI gaming, where he is leading the development of all games in this portfolio.