Creator: Brøderbund Software
Brøderbund Software was an American computer game company founded in February 1980 by Doug Carlston, a semi-professional programmer of TRS-80
games, with his brother Gary. (The name "Brøderbund," which is "brotherhood" in broken Swedish note
, first appeared in Doug's first game, Galactic Empire
.) Along with Sierra Online
, Brøderbund was one of the dominant publishers of the early 1980s, soliciting games from independent programmers (of which Jordan Mechner and Will Wright would become the most famous) to publish primarily on the Apple ][
, Atari 8-Bit Computers
and Commodore 64
. Brøderbund's early hits also included non-game software, such as the word processor Baker Street Writer
and the desktop publishing program The Print Shop
Brøderbund had close ties to Japanese video game companies from its very first year, when it began to distribute games from the Japanese company Starcraft, which would publish several Brøderbund games in Japan. Several Brøderbund games were ported to the Nintendo Entertainment System
early on, by Hudson Soft
. By 1987, Brøderbund had a subsidiary publishing its own games in Japan.
As the 1990s progressed, the company focused increasingly on edutainment software, eventually creating a new label, Red Orb Entertainment
. It also published some non-game software, including The Print Shop.
Unfortunately, despite its focus on edutainment (or because of it, though The Last Express
helped), Brøderbund was a money-losing company, and was bought by The Learning Company Inc. (actually a Canadian CD-ROM company which bought the original The Learning Company and changed its name to reflect that
) for $400 million, laid off most of its workforce, was bought
just a year later, and the whole thing (Mattel Interactive) was a big money-loser (The Learning Company, likewise, was losing money), they eventually sold that off.
Today, the only remnants of Brøderbund include a line of software sold by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (and notably missing the "ø") and some of Ubisoft
's products (which bought the entertainment division, continuing the Prince of Persia
franchise and selling sequels to Myst
Games published by Brøderbund include:
Games published under Red Orb include: