Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six

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Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six
Genre(s)Tactical shooter
Developer(s)Ubisoft Montreal
Ubisoft Milan
Red Storm Entertainment
Platform(s)Microsoft Windows, Nintendo 64, PlayStation, Mac OS, Game Boy Color, Dreamcast, PlayStation Network, Game Boy Advance, Xbox, PlayStation 2, GameCube, Mac OS X, Mobile phone, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Portable, Xbox 360, iOS, Xperia Play, AndroidOne, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
First releaseRainbow Six
August 21, 1998
Latest releaseRainbow Six Siege
December 1, 2015

Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six is a media franchise created by American author Tom Clancy about a fictional international counter-terrorist unit called "Rainbow". The franchise began with Clancy's novel Rainbow Six, which was adapted into a series of tactical first-person shooter video games.

Team Rainbow[edit]

Rainbow Six describes Rainbow as an international counter-terrorism operation hosted by NATO and funded by money funneled through the U.S. Department of the Interior.

The base of operations for Rainbow is located in Hereford, England, due to the United Kingdom being one of the most accessible countries in the world and having one of the world's foremost special forces units. Most of the characters in Rainbow Six are American or British, though the NATO countries of France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Canada, and the non-NATO ally of Israel have at least one representative each.

Clancy describes the structure of Rainbow as having one Director, who oversees the entire operation, and one Deputy Director, who is second in command. Rainbow is portrayed as the "blacker than black" operations, and it works off its very own intelligence service which has intelligence contacts all over the world. In the book, when Rainbow is called upon for help from another country's government to deal with a terrorist situation, usually only one of the two teams will be sent, but in some situations, both will be sent. Both teams have an officer (O-4 or equivalent) as team leader and a senior NCO (E-9 or equivalent) as second in command. Not including the team leader, each team is made up of ten men. Rainbow also has a standard-issue weapons kit. Each team has two snipers.

In the video games, Rainbow is portrayed differently. John Clark is still the leader for most of the series, but is supported by a set of other key staff and advisers who vary from game to game. As of Rogue Spear, the unit has 30 operatives, including members from NATO countries and from non-NATO countries. For each mission in the first three games, a maximum of eight operatives can be deployed and can be split into a maximum of five teams. Weapons, uniforms, and equipment are less standardized and are instead chosen to suit the operative and the mission.


The novel, Rainbow Six, was written by Tom Clancy and published in 1998. The novel focuses on John Clark, Ding Chavez, and a fictional multinational counter-terrorist organization named Rainbow.

Video games[edit]

The first game was developed by Red Storm Entertainment, while the novel was being written. The game later spawned a number of sequels and expansion packs. Red Storm was later acquired by Ubisoft, who currently develops and publishes the games. Mobile phone versions of the game are developed and published by Gameloft.

Rainbow Six and its sequels defined the tactical shooter genre, forcing players to focus more time and effort on stealth, teamwork, and tactics rather than on sheer firepower. With some of the more recent releases however, the games have taken on more of a "mainstream" first-person shooter approach in an attempt to appeal to a wider audience.

After Rainbow 6: Patriots was cancelled, the following game, Rainbow Six Siege, would reboot the franchise.

List of games[edit]

Overview of released games
Title Windows
Rainbow Six 1998 N64, PS1 (1999); DC (2000) GBC (2000)
Rainbow Six Mission Pack: Eagle Watch 1999 DC (2000) N/A expansion pack
Rainbow Six: Rogue Spear 1999 DC (2000); PS1 (2001) GBA (2002)
Rainbow Six: Rogue Spear Mission Pack Urban Operations 2000 DC (2000) N/A expansion pack
Rainbow Six: Rogue Spear Covert Ops Essentials 2000 N/A N/A expansion pack (stand-alone)
Rainbow Six: Rogue Spear Black Thorn 2001 N/A N/A expansion pack (stand-alone)
Rainbow Six: Take-Down – Missions in Korea 2001 N/A N/A Not released outside of South Korea (stand-alone)
Rainbow Six: Lone Wolf N/A PS1 (2002) N/A
Rainbow Six 3: Raven Shield 2003 Xbox (2003); PS2, GameCube (2004) Mobile game (2004)
Rainbow Six 3: Athena Sword 2004 N/A N/A expansion pack
Rainbow Six 3: Black Arrow N/A Xbox (2004) N/A
Rainbow Six 3: Iron Wrath 2005 N/A N/A expansion pack (DLC)
Rainbow Six: Broken Wings N/A N/A Mobile game (2003)
Rainbow Six: Urban Crisis 2004 N/A N/A
Rainbow Six: Lockdown 2006 PS2, Xbox, GameCube (2005) N/A
Rainbow Six: Critical Hour N/A Xbox (2006) N/A
Rainbow Six: Vegas 2006 X360 (2006); PS3 (2007) PSP (2007), Mobile game
Rainbow Six: Vegas 2 2008 PS3, X360(2008) N/A
Rainbow Six: Shadow Vanguard N/A N/A iOS, Android (2011) Based on the original
Rainbow 6: Patriots[1][2] N/A PS4, Xbox One N/A Cancelled
Rainbow Six Siege 2015 PS4, Xbox One, PC; PS5, Xbox Series X N/A
Rainbow Six Quarantine 2021 PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, PC N/A

A South Korean-only PC game called Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Take-Down – Missions in Korea was created for the South Korean market by KAMA Digital Entertainment. The game boasted South Korean Rainbow operatives and weapons with a different story and interface. It was not sold outside South Korea.


  1. ^ Crecente, Brian (June 23, 2011). "New Rainbow Six Might Be the Most Innovative Shooter in Years". Kotaku. Archived from the original on December 20, 2013. Retrieved December 2, 2013.
  2. ^ Crecente, Brian (June 2, 2011). "Rainbow Six Set to Invade New York With Home-Grown Terrorism". Kotaku. Archived from the original on December 3, 2013. Retrieved December 2, 2013.

External links[edit]