Game Genie
Game Genie menu
Publisher Galoob / Realtec
Developer Codemasters
Console Famicom/NES, SNES, Sega Mega Drive/Genesis, Game Boy, Game Gear
Date 1990

The Game Genie was an Unlicensed Video Game Enhancer developed by Codemasters and published by Galoob. it was sold in the US, Canada and the UK.


The Game Genie was first invented in 1990 by game developer Codemasters. The design was bought by American unlicensed game publisher Camerica. The Game Genie was a new and unique accessory that allowed you to add patches as number and letter codes that overwrited the games original codes. This would allow you to use cheats or just mess about with your games. The Game Genie was planned to be released at the end of 1990.

Legal Issues Edit

The planned 1990 release never happened, since Nintendo heard about this and took Codemasters and Camerica to court. Nintendo stated that overwriting the games original code was copyright infringement and was not allowed. Nintendo lost the case, but this meant that the Game Genie's release was delayed a year. Although Camerica won the case, the delay of the Game Genie meant that they were in serious financial problems. This resulted in them selling the Game Genie rights to a small Californian company, Galoob. Due to legal issues with Nintendo, sales of the Game Genie stopped in the US. The sales then resumed in the US after the courts decided that the Game Genie did not infringe copyright or result in any derivative works.

UK SalesEdit

Galoob and Codemasters worked with toy maker Hornby Hobbies, a division of Scalextrics. Hornby managed all official sales for the Game Genie in the UK. Codemasters worked very close with them throughout the entire life of the Game Genie.


The Game Genie was a huge commercial success and was very popular in North America. It sold 5 million NES Game Genies which pushed both Galoob and Codemasters safely in the video game market. Game Genie was released for many other consoles including the Game Gear, Game Boy, SNES and the Sega Mega Drive/Genesis.

Famicom versionEdit

A 60-pin Famicom version of the Game Genie was released under license by Realtec, and was sold in Poland, South America and Taiwan, and likely other countries where 60-pin Famicom clones were common. The box art was largely unmodified from the NES version and still depicted the 72-pin Game Genie.


Like any Video Game Enhancer, it would always have code problems. Overloading a certain game with codes may cause it to crash. The Game Genie instruction manual suggests that you try another code. The most well known problem with the NES Game Genie is that it gradually damages your NES. It slowly bends the 72-pin connector until the NES is unplayable without the Game Genie attached to the game. This means that you must replace the 72-pin connector if this happens.


At CES 2012, company Hyperkin announced a resurrection of the Game Genie brand. The consoles that it is released on are the 3DS, DSi, DS, Wii, PS3 and PSP. Also, a planned release for the new Game Genie is also going to be on a new upcoming console called Save Guru.

Other FactsEdit

  • A well known joke code for the NES Game Genie "IKAAAE" will either do small or big glitch, useless modifications to the game like glitch the sound, controls won't work or the game will just crash. It is well known due to the fact that it does the same basic thing to almost every NES game (especially Super Mario Bros).
  • Typing the code "DEAD" on the Game Gear Game Genie will cause the screen to move up and down. This happens on every game which means that it is most likely an easter egg.
  • The NES emulator FCEUX, allows players to create Game Genie codes knowing what they do even if the player has no experience with cheat code programming.

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