Saturday, June 17, 2017

Gaming Ads: Camerica

Camerica was a Canadian company founded in 1988. It published games in North America for Codemasters during the 8-bit era as every one of the games it released is for the Nintendo Entertainment System, though without Nintendo's official seal of quality. We'll take a look at Codemasters in a few weeks where some of the same games will be seen, including the popular game Micro Machines that is based on the toys of the same name from Galoob.

A unique feature of Camerica's marketing is that it used a teenage game player to promote its games. While there were no eSports at the time, the Nintendo World Championships were held across the United States in 1990. Thor Aackerlund was named champion in his age group and shortly thereafter was hired as a spokesperson for Camerica. His photo, alongside positive quotations, appeared in many of the publisher's print advertisements.

Camerica also released a variety of game controllers and the Nintendo Entertainment System version of the Game Genie. The Game Genie was a device created by Codemasters that allowed users to alter their video games with cheat codes. Nintendo viewed the device as a copyright violation and sued both Camerica and its U.S. distributor Galoob. During the lawsuit sales were halted in the U.S. but not in Canada which is what the ad you'll see thanking Canada is in regards to. Ultimately, Nintendo lost the lawsuit and Galoob would go on to release Game Genies for the Super NES and Game Boy as well.

Flickr album: Camerica

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