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Codemasters History: The NES’ Best Unlicensed Developer (tedium.co)
159 points by shortformblog 8 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 14 comments

Nintendo sued them for bypassing their protection. Often people caved; Nintendo/Sega controlled how many games a developer could get published; the genre etc. Codemasters was like "yeah, right" and reversed engineered it, and got sued. Apparently they thought they were going to lose and agreed with Codemasters to call off the lawsuit as long as Codemasters maintained publicly that they had done a deal with Nintendo to end the case.

Source: common knowledge in the small West England game dev community.

Nintendo also sued Galoob over the Game Genie, which Galoob had licensed (purchased?) from Codemasters. Nintendo lost, and then they lost again on appeal. The issue was whether the Game Genie created derivative works.


FWIW, Hacker News appears to interpreted the last . in the link as a full stop, so if it doesn't work for anyone else you need to add a . at the end.

I read Console Wars and it was a really insightful look into how Nintendo and Sega came to be and how they operated if you are interested in this sort of thing.


> Nintendo/Sega controlled how many games a developer could get published; the genre etc.

Konami got around this another way, by creating a shell company (Ultra Games in the US, Palcom Software in Europe/UK) that obtained its own license.

Reversed from the DOS binary is an amazing feat. SDL makes this type of thing so easy and could be used for so many things in this regard.

What is SDL?

SDL (Simple DirectMedia Layer) - http://libsdl.org

A little more reading on the making/history of Micro Machines if you are interested:


"The original A/B testing" picture was definitely worth it already, I just had to stop reading it to share this treasure!

The original Codemasters was one of a kind. Rock Star Ate My Hamster was a lot of juvenile fun.

"Bad news, boss!"

I remember the joy of accidentally having your band endorse a campaign to euthanise OAPs. Fun times.

Dizzy was one of my all time favourite series on the CPC. I replayed one of them recently and it's has aged pretty well all things considered.

I always wondered what the exposed connector was on the back of the cartridge after I rented that game

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