From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
IndustryVideo games
FoundedApril 13, 1987; 35 years ago (1987-04-13)[1]
FounderDavid J. Harding
Defunct1993 (1993)[2][3]
ProductsGame Genie,
Aladdin Deck Enhancer

Camerica was a Canadian video game company founded in 1988.[2] It released various unlicensed video games and accessories for the Nintendo Entertainment System, such as the Game Genie, and was the North American publisher for British developer Codemasters.[4]


The company was owned and operated by David J. Harding and was originally formed in 1988 as a wholesale association with giftware such as Waterford Crystal and Blue Mountain Pottery.

The company entered the video game market, featuring Nintendo World Championship of 1990 winner Thor Aackerlund as the spokesperson,[5] considered one of the first professional gamers.[6] Camerica held the rights to publish most Nintendo Entertainment System games from Codemasters in North America.[7] Camerica also released the Codemasters-designed Game Genie in Canada and the UK.[8] They had a distribution deal with toy company Galoob.[9] The company created several early peripherals for the NES, including the Aladdin Deck Enhancer expansion peripheral and Supersonic: the Joystick a.k.a. Turbotronic, a wireless controller.[10]

Camerica was notable for being an unlicensed distributor, reverse engineering cartridges[11] that would bypass Nintendo's 10NES lock-out chip.[12] Like the circuit used in Color Dreams cartridges, Camerica's workaround generates glitch pulses that freeze the lock-out chip. These cartridges are shaped and colored slightly differently from Nintendo's official cartridges, though they still fit in the NES. All Camerica cartridges were originally produced gold-colored, and later silver.[13] They feature a switch for use with European NES consoles.

In Lewis Galoob Toys, Inc. v. Nintendo of America, Inc, Galoob, distributor of Camerica products in the United States, was ruled not an infringer of the Copyright Act because the Game Genie was not a derivative work and was protected by fair use.[14][15]

In Nintendo of America Inc. v. Camerica Corp (1991), it was held that it did not violate Nintendo's trademark for Camerica to advertise compatibility with the NES despite being an unlicensed distributor.[16]

Camerica declared bankruptcy and ceased operations in 1993.[17]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "MRAS Business Registry Search".
  2. ^ a b "Codemasters History: The NES' Best Unlicensed Developer". Tedium: The Dull Side of the Internet. Retrieved 2022-08-15.
  3. ^ "Camerica (Company)". Giant Bomb.
  4. ^ "'Darlings' of UK games honoured". BBC News. 2008-06-13. Retrieved 2022-08-15.
  5. ^ McGuire, Keegan (2020-12-15). "The Untold Truth Of The Nintendo World Championship". Retrieved 2022-08-15.
  6. ^ "How Nintendo And A Band Of Teenage High Score Obsessives Created The Idea Of The Pro Gamer". Nintendo Life. 2020-12-26. Retrieved 2022-08-15.
  7. ^ Jesudason, David. "How two twins and an egg took on Nintendo's Super Mario". Inverse. Retrieved 2022-08-15.
  8. ^ "The Story Of The Game Genie, The Cheat Device Nintendo Tried (And Failed) To Kill". Nintendo Life. 2021-12-26. Retrieved 2022-08-15.
  9. ^ Fachon, Marine (2021-12-27). "L'histoire du Game Genie, le dispositif de triche que Nintendo a essayé (et échoué) à tuer. - Miroir Mag". (in French). Retrieved 2022-08-15.
  10. ^ "Supersonic The Joystick". NintendoAge. n.d. Archived from the original on 2009-07-14. Retrieved 2009-03-31.
  11. ^ "That Time Atari Cracked The Nintendo Entertainment System". Hackaday. 2018-10-22. Retrieved 2022-08-15.
  12. ^ "Super 3-D Noah's Ark lets you break animal faces with coconuts". Destructoid. 2021-07-10. Retrieved 2022-08-15.
  13. ^ "The Making Of Micro Machines, The Best Racer On The NES". Nintendo Life. 2017-05-01. Retrieved 2022-08-15.
  14. ^ "Lewis Galoob Toys, Inc., Plaintiff-appellee, v. Nintendo of America, Inc., Defendant-appellant.nintendo of America, Inc., Plaintiff-appellant, v. Lewis Galoob Toys, Inc., Defendant-appellee, 964 F.2d 965 (9th Cir. 1992)". Justia Law. Retrieved 2022-08-15.
  15. ^ "Lewis Galoob Toys, Inc. v. Nintendo of Am., Inc. | Case Brief for Law School | LexisNexis". Community. Retrieved 2022-08-15.
  16. ^ "Claiming compatibility: a guide for advertising and product packaging". Lexology. 2014-01-28. Retrieved 2022-08-15.
  17. ^ "The Game Genie was originally meant to do much more than help you beat Battletoads". The A.V. Club. 2018-06-18. Retrieved 2022-08-15.

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