The History of Tom Clancy Video Games

Tom Clancy was a great novelist who was known for his detailed military-science and espionage stories that captivated audiences. Unfortunately, he died in 2013 of heart failure. It was a big blow to the literary community.

But one thing you may not have known about him is that his stories were used by video game company Ubisoft. There are very few game franchises that have originated from books and have the lifespan of Tom Clancy.

The games have evolved since the 1980s to create a variety of shooter, stealth-genre classics, and espionage stories. There are more than 40 games in this history and we’re going to tell you about the game evolution next. 

The History of Tom Clancy Video Games
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Let’s take a look at how it all started

Way Back When

So, long before there was even a tactical-op mission game through the vast terrain of the jungle and busting through shields, flashbangs, and buildings, Tom Clancy had already written his first novel The Hunt for Red October. 


In 1987, Oxford Digital Enterprises released a game that featured side-scrolling with a brief look at missions. This was a mixture of strategy and simulation where the players were guided by the Red October submarine.

In the next year, developer MicroProse then released Red Storm Rising which technically followed a few aspects of the book that was written by Tom Clancy. 

In 1990, Beam Software and Grandslam Entertainment both released games that were based on the movie version of the novel. This game starred Sean Connery.

After around 6 years, there were many more projects that were based on this book by Tom Clancy. They all had the same storyline. 

I Can See the Rainbow

This game is a squad-based tactical first-person shooter game that was the key element in Tom Clancy games at the beginning of 1999. The game spanned around 17 different games which included DLC expansions.

Into the Wildlands

This game expanded the tactical operations and was able to confine the levels and locations to see the Rainbow games. It was based on Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon games, and it pushed the boundaries of the design and franchise. 

They started in 2001, and there are currently 14 games in the Ghost Recon genre to date.

The Name’s Fisher, Sam Fisher

In the 2000s, Ubisoft introduced a stealth-based shooter game that was a third-person premise of the Splinter Cell. This franchise follows Tom Clancy’s NSA agent Sam Fisher

His voice is provided by actors Eric Johnson from Supernatural Series, and Michael Ironside from the Starship Troopers

The gameplay is basically stealth-based and opts for silenced weapons and has a shadow-o-meter right with the other games and shows Sam’s visibility. 

It is a game that invented the ways of sticking to the shadows and also includes a stylish split jump and bustling light bulbs. 

Other Mentions

The game EndWar was released in 2008 and it featured some real-time tactics that took place in the time leading up to and even during World War III.

In 2009, they released the H.A.W.X games that were Tom Clancy named and the players were able to get away from the boots on the ground and the missions put them in the cockpits with jet fighters.

In 2001, Kama Digital Entertainment company released the Tom Clancy Game – Rainbow SIX: Takedown Mission in Korea.

In this game, players were able to control the squad with Rainbow elites through a series of missions that were aimed at terrorists. 

The History of Tom Clancy Video Games
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While Tom Clancy may be gone, his legacy still lives on in his books and numerous video games inspired by his novels. If you love the espionage style of games, you have Tom Clancy to thank for that.