Rabbit Software was an English company which produced home computer games for machines such as the Commodore VIC-20, Sinclair ZX Spectrum, and Commodore 64 in the early to mid 1980s. Rabbit's later software packaging was slightly different from that of the other software houses of the time, as the cassettes were encased within an outer red box which made them more distinctive on the shop shelves.
Rabbit went into liquidation around the same time Imagine had problems. Eventually, Rabbit was acquired by Virgin Interactive.
Founded in 1982, earlier than most other videogame start-ups of that time, Rabbit started as an offshoot of Cream Computers, a shop in Harrow (North London) that specialised in business micros. One of the employees wrote software and they decided to sell some games by mail. The games had very basic packaging: cream coloured paper with a rabbit stamped on it and hand-written details. Along with the buzz of the Vic-20 release, the company became quickly known for their Vic-20 and Commodore 64 games. The company hired a tele-sales team and made sure their games were available from different major computer outlets; a risk at the time.
They started producing games for the Spectrum at the end of 1983 and soon had the titles Escape MCP, Race Fun, Phantasia, The Birds, Frogger, Lancer Lords, Murder!, Pakacuda, Paratroopers, Potty Painter, Centropods and Quackers.
In 1984, the company moved to Wealdstone and they no longer had in-house programmers. Producer/Director Terry Grant thought up the ideas and then contracted programmers. In that year, they released the Spectrum game Death Star.
Because software producers had difficulty maintaining stocks for chain stores, Terry Grant and Heather Lamont founded Copy-Soft to offer a full scale service to all software houses, including inlay design and printing, right through to bulk copying and delivery.
By 1985 Virgin Games acquired the Rabbit Software name and used it as a publishing label to sell mid-priced titles on the a range of machines, including the Spectrum. The first game released on this new label was The Great Fire of London.
Company location in 1983:
Rabbit Software Limited
Unit 11, Forward Drive
Wealdstone, Middlesex HA3 8NU
Source: Instructions for Potty Painter (1983)"Potty Painter".