Exclusive: ‘FPS: First Person Shooter’ reveals why Tom Clancy agreed to make ‘Rainbow Six’ games

How a submarine simulator and an FBI training exercise led to the 'Rainbow Six' series we know today

In an exclusive preview from upcoming documentary FPS: First Person Shooter, developers at Virtus and Red Storm Entertainment have revealed why author Tom Clancy decided to get on board with a series of Rainbow Six games.

In a clip from FPS: First Person Shooter, David Alan Smith – co-founder at Red Storm Entertainment – explains that Clancy was first drawn into gaming when he played first-person shooter Colony.

“That’s one of the reasons Tom Clancy got in touch with me,” explained Smith, who said that Clancy was intrigued by the potential for gaming to tell stories. “Colony is the first time he’d ever experienced a story in a game versus just playing Pong or something.”


“Tom Clancy was an investor in Virtus, he played a game that David had made and liked it,” reflected Brian Upton, director for Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six.

Upton shared that Clancy and Smith then decided to collaborate on a game – Clancy would provide IP to use, while Smith would make the game itself.

The result was a submarine simulator called SSN, which was launched in 1996. When SSN made money as a “dry run” to see how the collaboration would work, Smith decided to co-found Red Storm Entertainment to put more resources into future Tom Clancy games.

From there, Clancy introduced Smith to his friends at the FBI’s hostage rescue team. Smith visited the team’s live training exercise and was impressed by the team “blowing shit up”.

“I called Tom up [and said] you know we gotta do this,” said Smith, who recalled that Clancy liked the idea but wanted to change the hostage team into an international force. The pair then created Rainbow Six, a series of games that introduced a slower, more methodical style of action to the FPS genre.


In other news, Rainbow Six Siege has recently revealed Sens, the multiplayer shooter’s next operator.

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