Founded in 1987 by brothers Rand and Robyn Miller, the first computer game developed was the children's adventure game, The Manhole. It was the first computer game title to be released on the CD-ROM. Over the next few years the team created Cosmic Osmo and the Worlds Beyond the Mackerel as well as Spelunx. These early games ended up proving out gameplay techniques that the company would put to great use in their next game, Myst.
In 1991 Cyan Worlds began production on their biggest success, Myst, with funding from Sunsoft. The title featured 3D, pre-rendered scenes with mind-bending puzzles. Released in 1993, the game would go on to sell over 6 million copies remaining the number one selling video game of all time until 2002. The title was developed by the Miller brothers, Chuck Carter (artist), and Chris Brandkamp (audio engineer).
In 1997 the sequel to Myst was released, Riven. Again pushing the medium forward, Riven featured an even larger world with more exposition and even tougher puzzles. The content was spread across 5 CD-ROMs when it was released. Later it would be ported to DVD. It too sold quite well with Myst and Riven selling over 12 million units. It was also in 1997 that Robyn Miller left Cyan Worlds to pursue other interests.
In 2013, after a long period of hibernation, only porting a few of their earlier works to modern devices, Cyan announced a Kickstarter for their latest project, Obduction.