Sega Mega Drive games

From Sega Retro


TODO: merge/split/whatever Sega Mega Drive cartridges





Mega Drive game packaging built one what was seen with the Sega Master System, bundling games in plastic "clamshell" boxes, which as well as protecting the cartridge, could house a manual and other documents if required. These boxes use the same dimensions as Western Master System games, however are slightly tweaked so as to hold the differently sized standard Mega Drive cartridge shape, and were used in all regions, including Japan, South Korea and the "Asian" region whose Master System titles were shipped in cardboard boxes.

While the use of plastic packaging was nothing new for Sega, it became something of a selling point with the Mega Drive, as Nintendo and its rival consoles favoured cardboard until the arrival of the Nintendo GameCube in 2001. Electronic Arts adopted similar packaging for its games, albeit customised for their bespoke cartridge shells.


North America

The release of the North American Mega Drive (Genesis) console in the August of 1989 brought with it a uniform packaging design similar to the Master System - a grey grid, this time on a black background (versus the grey-on-white seen in the earlier console). Unlike the early days of the Master System, detailed artwork was allowed to decorate the front of boxes, and game logos were usually used in place of the standard serif typeface used across Master System releases.

North America was arguably one of the least consistent regions in terms of packaging designs, however, as third-party publishers rarely stuck to Sega's packaging design philosophies in the beginning, with companies such as Electronic Arts and Renovation Products opting to use their own styles. Unlicensed publishers, such as Accolade's Ballistic label, also continued to use cardboard.

In 1993 to coincide with the redesigned Mega Drive 2 console, Sega radically changed its game packaging, opting for a red, diagonal striped design. This was more widely adopted by third-party publishers, though again it was not universal and many exhibit slight alterations to Sega's template.

Towards the end of 1994 Sega of America decided to start cutting costs, going back to flimsy cardboard boxes. Most third-party publishers, such as EA and Acclaim Entertainment, continued to use plastic.


Europe initially adopted a similar style to North America for its packaging, and while Sega were unable to enforce standards for third-party publishers, companies in this region were far more willing to copy Sega's designs to bring some consistency to the library.

Like North America, Sega Europe radically overhauled its packaging at some point in early 1994, using a blue design.


Brazil initially used cardboard before switching to plastic in 199x.

South Korea



Launch titles


North America



Sega Mega Drive
Topics Technical specifications | History | List of games | Magazine articles | Promotional material | Blast processing | Cartridges
Hardware Japan | North America | Europe (West | North | South | Central and East) | Brazil | Asia | South Korea | Australia | Africa
EZ Games | Heartbeat Personal Trainer | LaserActive | Mega Jet | Mega PC | Mega Play | Mega-Tech System | Nomad | Teradrive | "Consoles on a chip" | Unlicensed clones
Add-ons Power Base Converter | Mega-CD | 32X (Mega-CD 32X) | Mega Modem | Demo System DS-16
Controllers Control Pad | Six Button Control Pad | 6 Button Arcade Pad | Arcade Power Stick 6B | Konami Justifier | MK-1470
Action Chair | Activator | Arcade Power Stick | Keyboard | MegaFire | Mouse | Mega Stick | Menacer | Remote Arcade System | Ten Key Pad
Accessories 4 Way Play | Cleaning System | Control Pad Extension Cord | Genesis Speakers | Region converter cartridges | Mega Terminal | Miracle Piano Teaching System | Nomad PowerBack | RF Unit (Mega Drive 2) | SCART Cable (Mega Drive 2) | Stereo Audio Video Cable | Team Player | Video Monitor Cable
Network services Sega Channel | Sega Meganet (Sega Game Toshokan | Mega Anser) | Tectoy Mega Net | Telebradesco Residência | XB∀ND
Development tools ERX 308P | ERX 318P | Sprobe | SNASM68K | SNASM2 (Mega Drive) | SNASM2 (32X)
Unreleased Floppy Disk Drive | Mega Play 1010 | Sega VR | Video Jukebox