Brøderbund was a maker of computer games and educational software.



Brøderbund scored an early hit with the game Galactic Empire, written by Doug Carlston for the TRS-80. The company went on to become a powerhouse in the educational and entertainment software markets with titles like Fantavision, Choplifter, Lode Runner, Karateka, Wings of Fury, Prince of Persia, Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?, and Myst, the latter of which stayed in the top 10 list of PC games for years. Brøderbund also distributed the Print Shop series of desktop greeting card making programs.

Corporate History

Brøderbund was founded by brothers Doug and Gary Carlston in 1980. Their sister, Cathy, joined a year later. Before founding the company, Doug was a lawyer and Gary had held a number of jobs, including teaching Swedish at an American college.

Brøderbund became a public company in 1991 (their NASDAQ symbol, no longer operative, was BROD). Their stock price and market capitalization climbed steadily to a maximum of nearly USD$80/share in late 1995, and then fell steadily in the face of continued losses for a number of years.

Brøderbund was purchased by The Learning Company in 1998 for about USD$420 million in stock. In 1999 the combined company was bought by Mattel for the astounding sum of $3.6 billion. Mattel reeled from the financial impact of this transaction, and Jill Barad, the CEO, ended up being forced out in a climate of investor outrage. Mattel then actually gave away The Learning Company in September 2000 to Gores Technology Group, a private acquisitions firm, for a share of whatever Gores could obtain by selling the company. In 2001, Gores sold The Learning Company's entertainment holdings to Ubisoft, and most of the other holdings, including the Brøderbund name, to Riverdeep.

Brøderbund is now the brand name for Riverdeep's graphic design, productivity, and edutainment titles, such as the Print Shop, Carmen Sandiego, Mavis Beacon, and Reader Rabbit titles, and also publishes software for other companies, notably Zone Labs' ZoneAlarm.

Riverdeep refers to the division simply as "Broderbund", without the 'ø' character.


The word "brøderbund" is not an actual word in any language, but is a somewhat loose translation of "band of brothers" into a mixture of Swedish, Danish and German. The Danish ø was used simply because it looks like the programmer's Ø (zero). The Brøderbund name, therefore, may be the first widely known example of leetspeak.

See also

External links

ja:broderbund de:Brøderbund sv:Brøderbund


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