Tetris game: incoherent and addictive. Let’s learn a little about the story of this so beloved game.
Addictive Tetris game created in the 80s that continues to captivate everyone until today. With simple graphics and rules, the game showed that characters and history are not needed to please players. But the story behind the game’s creation is very curious and interesting.
And a puzzle is born
Tetris created by a puzzle-loving software engineer named Alexey Pajitnov in 1984. At that time he’s working for the Dorodnitsyn Computing Centre of the Soviet Academy of Sciences ( Moscow ), a research center created by the government.
Pajitnov designed the game for fun, during off hours, without financial interests, to see if could do it. The inspiration came from a puzzle game called “pentominoes,” in which several pieces of wood of different shapes are assembled in a box.
The name Tetris combined word “tetra” ( four in latin ) meaning the four squares of each puzzle piece and “tennis,” ( Pajitnov’s favorite game). “The program wasn’t complicated, there was no scoring, no levels. But I started playing and I couldn’t stop. That was it”. Pajitnov told The Guardian in 2009.
Tetris spreads around the world
But Tetris was programmed on a computer Elektronika 60, crude computer that it could only display text. Despite the difficulties he continued to develop the game with the help of friend Dmitry Pavlovsky anb Vadim Gerasimov, 16-year-old computer programmer.
Geramiadov transported Tetris from the obscure Elektronika 60 to the most common PC.
With the PC version able to support color graphics, Pajitnov and Gerasimov began distributing in Moscow the PC version of Tetris, initially among friends, and it was through sharing that the game began to spread, like a virus.
As a result, Tetris crossed the border into Hungary and then spread across Europe. It was then that Robert Stein, a salesman for a software company, know the game and tried to sell the program in the West.
Stein searched Pajitnov in Moscow, but as everything that was produced inside Soviet facilities belonged to the state, game’s fate lay in the hands of Elorg ( Soviet agency Elektronorgtechnica ). Cleared the rights in 1988 and the game released as a commercial PC title in the UK and the US.
Read in Articles: Streaming Services for Quarantine: meet the best of US and UK
Success on consoles
The game sold well for computers, but it was time to make money on consoles. In 1989 the Nintendo was launching a new portable system, the Game Boy, and Tetris was the perfect game for him. Released in Europe, North America and Japan, the console contained the free game. And it was a success.
Tetris was a worldwide success, but its creator was not making money from it. In an interview he said: “There was a lot of legal trouble, and when the question of ownership and the original source of the game came up, I decided that I wanted everything to go smoothly and I granted the rights to the Computer Center of the Soviet Academy of Sciences for 10 years.”
Pajitnov moved from Russia to Seattle in 1991, with the help of his friend Henk Rogers. And finally in 1995 ( when the rights expired ) he finally started receiving royalties for the Tetris.
Tetris and his 36 years
Tetris is on approximately 65 platforms and has generated over a billion downloads on mobile devices. Pajitnov participated in the construction of 100 game variants including the online multiplayer version called “Tetris 99,” played by up to 99 players simultaneously.
Alexey Pajitnov created addictive game that appeals to the problem-solving part of our brains, therefore it as addictive as popping bubble wrap. Maybe that’s why, 36 years after its creation, we are still playing, and we will certainly continue to play Tetris for the next 30 years.
Play for free on your Android or PC
Nowadays you can download different versions of Tetris on your Android for free. (Look here)
For PC there is a website that allows you to play online for free. (Look here)