March 2, 2015

What is the Tetris® Game?

The Tetris® game is an electronic puzzle game that was created by Alexey Pajitnov in 1984, while working in the USSR as a computer programmer. Pajitnov often programmed games to test new equipment using simple tasks, and in his spare time, developed a computer game inspired by his favorite puzzle board game Pentominos. The objective of Pentominos was to fit 12 different geometric-shaped pieces formed out of five squares into a box. Pajitnov’s vision was to create an electronic game where players arranged puzzle pieces in real time by having them “fall” faster and faster from the top of the screen. Pajitnov designed the game using seven distinctive playing pieces made from four squares. He called it Tetris, after “tetra,” the Greek word for four, and tennis, his favorite sport. After giving the game to his colleagues, it became an instant, hugely addictive hit, and shortly thereafter spread like wildfire throughout the Soviet Bloc’s computer literate. His subsequent friendship with BPS President and CEO Henk Rogers, brought the Tetris game out of the Soviet Union to become one of the most widely played electronic games of all time.

30 Years of Tetris®

  • Tetris®  is born in Moscow. Russian scientist Alexey Pajitnov develops the very first version of Tetris on an Electronica 60
  • Tetris is ported to the IBM PC and quickly spreads throughout the Soviet Union
  • Tetris launches on PCs in North America and Europe – the first step in its global expansion beyond the Soviet Union
  • Video game designer and publisher Henk Rogers discovers Tetris at a Las Vegas tradeshow and is instantly hooked on the game. Soon after, Henk’s company, Bullet-Proof Software, releases Tetris on the PC and NES in Japan. It becomes a “software blockbuster,” selling over two million copies


  • Henk Rogers meets Alexey Pajitnov for the first time, and they immediately become friends
  • Henk Rogers secures the handheld rights to Tetris. He then licenses those rights to Nintendo
  • Nintendo’s Game Boy launches platform with one packed-in cartridge—Tetris. Over 35 million copies are sold
  • The Software Publisher’s Association awards Tetris four Excellence in Software Awards, which were then considered the “Oscars” for the software industry


  • Scientific research suggests practicing Tetris can make the brain operate more efficiently


  • Henk Rogers establishes Blue Planet Software, which becomes the exclusive agent for the Tetris brand


  • The Tetris Company is formed, and becomes the exclusive source of all licenses to Tetris
  • The Tetris Guidelines are created to establish consistency and quality standards for Tetris


  • Artist Roger Dean designs a bold and distinctive logo for Tetris


  • Tetris finds success with new handheld game formats when Radica releases Tetris on its standalone handheld devices
  • DTI Software helps Tetris take off with In-Flight Tetris. In time, Tetris will fly on over 50 airlines worldwide
  • G-mode publishes Tetris on mobile phones in Japan. Tetris goes on to become the #1 mobile phone game in the Japanese market


  • Henk Rogers establishes Blue Lava Wireless to develop Tetris for mobile devices in North America. Tetris rapidly gains momentum in the mobile market in North America, and with strategic partnerships in Korea and Europe, becomes the leader in mobile games


  • Jamdat purchases Blue Lava Wireless and obtains an exclusive, worldwide 15-year license to publish Tetris on mobile devices


  • EA purchases Jamdat, and becomes the new exclusive licensee of Tetris for mobile devices
  • Tetris for the iPod is launched and instantly becomes Apple’s #1 downloaded game
  • Nintendo launches Tetris for DS and sells over two million copies worldwide


  • Alexey Pajitnov receives the First Penguin Award at the Game Developers Conference. Tetris is widely recognized as the game that gave birth to the casual games industry


  • A study by Emily Holmes, Ph.D., of Oxford suggests that Tetris may help treat patients with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Tetris Online, Inc. releases Tetris Party on the Wii. Tetris Party soon climbs to the #1 spot for WiiWare downloads and is nominated for Best WiiWare Game 2008 and Best Puzzle Game 2008 by IGN
  • EA Mobile releases Tetris for the iPhone/iPod Touch. It is currently one of the All-Time Top 10 Paid Applications on the Apple iTunes App Store
  • NHN Hangame launches a new online multiplayer Tetris in Korea, and it quickly becomes the #1 casual game in Korea


  • Tetris Online unveils the first official Web-based Tetris game site Tetris Friends Online Games (
  • Guinness World Records 2009 Gamer’s Edition ranks Tetris #2 on the “Top 50 Console Games of All Time”
  • Tetris celebrates its 25th anniversary!


  • New Tetris game for iPad debuts
  • Tetris Party Deluxe launches for Nintendo Wii and DS
  • The Tetris lifestyle grows with introduction of new Tetris merchandise line featuring clothing, jewelry, decorative items, household goods and more
  • Tetris for the PlayStation Network launches to critical acclaim
  • Tetris surpasses 100 million paid mobile downloads, becoming the best-selling mobile game of all time


  • Tetris expands into augmented reality with launch of Tetris Axis for Nintendo 3DS
  • Tetris named number one PSN game
  • Tetris Link receives multiple awards, including the Mensa Select Award, Toy of the Year (TOTY) Awards “Game of the Year,” Good Housekeeping Research Institutes “Best Games of 2011,” and more
  • The state of New Jersey introduces Tetris themed instant lottery tickets


  • Tetris tops more than one billion games played online each month
  • Tetris expands lifestyle merchandise offering with creative and fun new products
  • Tetris named one of the top selling game app downloads of the year on Apple’s App Store


  • Electronic Arts introduces Tetris Blitz for Apple and Android devices
  • Hasbro launches Jenga Tetris and Bop It! Tetris
  • Tetris ranks #1 free game on the App Store
  • The Tetris game is added to NYC’s Museum of Modern Art as part of its permanent exhibit on Applied Design


  • Tetris achieves more than 425 million paid mobile downloads
  • Tetris Battle on Facebook reaches more than 20 billion games played to date, making it one of the social platform’s most popular games
  • A new study conducted at Plymouth University in the U.K. suggests that playing Tetris can help people stick to their diet
  • World celebrates 30years of Tetris!