The Rainbird label was established by Tony Rainbird, a former Micro-Gold employee who joined Telecomsoft to help set up the Firebird label. For legal reasons, the label's original name, Bluebird, had to be changed, although it still retained Tony Rainbird's original idea of releasing all its games in striking blue packaging.
The 16-bit home computer market, largely represented by the Atari ST and Amiga, was just beginning to take off in 1986 and the Rainbird label was an ideal opportunity to capitalise on it. Rather than concentrate on the more simplistic arcade action games that had dominated the 8-bit era, Rainbird aimed to introduce cutting edge simulators, adventure games and utilities to the full-price market.
Rainbird quickly forged a strong partnership with a number of developers who would produce their next range of high profile games. Magnetic Scrolls and Argonaut Software were amongst the first developers to benefit from a publishing deal with the label. Titles such as The Pawn and Starglider received unprecedented levels of critical acclaim and much attention outside the popular gaming media (a special version of the latter made it onto Get Fresh, a popular Saturday morning children's show in the UK, in a regular competition slot). Realtime Games, a successful ZX Spectrum developer who specialised in fast 3D action games, came on board to convert Starglider to the ZX Spectrum and would go on to develop the critically acclaimed Carrier Command for Rainbird.
Telecomsoft was the computer software division of British telecommunications company British Telecom (now BT). It was the owner of the well-known Firebird and Rainbird labels, under which it sold video games at a variety of price-points.
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