Red Orb Entertainment was launched on May 21, 1997 by Brøderbund Software to market their video game titles after the success of Myst, and to distinguish from its parent company's library of edutainment titles. The name "Red Orb" comes from the first six letters of "Broderbund" spelled backwards. The Myst franchise, including Riven, Myst: Masterpiece Edition and Ages of Myst, were among its biggest successes, selling millions of copies.
In Fall 1998, Brøderbund was acquired by The Learning Company. Red Orb's brand continued to be used and was supported by Mindscape, a division of The Learning Company. By the end of the year, The Learning Company was acquired by Mattel for $3.6 billion. In March 2001, The Learning Company's entertainment library was sold to Ubisoft. Brøderbund was acquired by Riverdeep (now Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Learning Technology) as a separate brand to return to publishing only edutainment titles, ending Red Orb's existence.