“Tetris” turns 30 today, which means the iconic puzzle game has maintained its worldwide popularity for three decades.
“I never imagined ‘Tetris’ was going to be this successful. But the simple, yet addicting nature of ‘Tetris’ still has me playing it a few times every week,” said Alexey Pajitnov, the game’s creator. “I meet fans from around the world who are also as passionate about it as [I am], and there is no doubt in my mind ‘Tetris’ will continue to expand and bring its classic appeal to new players in new ways and on new devices, whatever they may be.”
So, dust off your old Nintendo Game Boy and play a few rounds of “Tetris” today to mark the anniversary. And while you’re at it, check out some fun facts about the popular title.
10. The name “Tetris” comes from a combination of the Greek numerical prefix “tetra,” which means “four,” and the word “tennis,” which is Russian creator Alexey Pajitnov’s favorite game.
9. “Tetris” was the first entertainment software to be exported from the former Soviet Union to the U.S.
8. The original version of the game was created in 1984 for the Elektronika 60 computer, a Russian terminal computer.
7. “Music A” in version 1.1 of the Nintendo Game Boy edition of “Tetris” is so popular that it has been covered by various musical artists such as German group Scooter, Swedish DJ Doctor P, U.K. dance band Doctor Spin, Swedish artist Bassnectar and rock band Ozma.
6. “Music A” is actually an instrumental arrangement of a Russian folk tune called “Korobeiniki.”
5. Earlier this year, “Tetris” was featured at the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Games' closing ceremony. The display showed a huge colorful game of “Tetris” played on the stadium floor, with “Tetris” cubes spelling out the word “impossible.”
4. In March this year, the Tetris Company announced it will bring “Tetris” to the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 with Ubisoft and SoMa Play for the game’s 30th anniversary.
3. “Tetris” was rated the “Greatest Game of all Time” in bimonthly American video game magazine Electronic Gaming Monthly’s 100th issue, as well as #2 on IGN’s list of 100 Greatest Games of All Time.
2. “Tetris” has been the center of a number of legal battles regarding rights to ownership of the title. A PC version made its way to Hungary and was published by British software house Andromeda before the rights were secured. Andromeda then sold the rights to Spectrum HoloByte. In 1988, the Soviet government began to market the game’s rights. Over the next several years, the game experienced legal issues with several companies like Sega and Atari.
1. In 1996, the game’s rights reverted from the Russian state to creator Pajitnov and the Tetris Company was founded. The Tetris Company currently holds copyright registrations for “Tetris” products in the U.S.
What's your favorite "Tetris" memory? Leave a comment below.