This week Tetris, the world’s most addictive video game turns 25. The puzzle video game was designed June, 1985 by Russian programmer Alexey Pajitnov. Pajitnov designed the game in his spare time on a Soviet built Elektronika 60 while working at the Academy of Science in the USSR.
Tetris has not merely survived the past 25 years, it has become one of the most successful video games of all time. The game was launched in North America on the NES in 1987 and became an instant hit. Kids would play the game for so long some speculated that Tetris was a Soviet plot created to take over the minds of American youth forcing them to perform meaningless tasks.
When the game was released for the Game Boy in 1989 it achieved blockbuster status selling over 35 million copies. Tetris would go on to be ported to every platform imaginable from computers and games consoles to microscopes and iPhones, to date various Tetris titles have sold over 70 million copies worldwide. Online it attracts 1.5 million monthly visitors and is available as in-flight entertainment on 50 airlines.
Tetris creator Pajitnov would have to wait years to profit from his creation. Tetris was owned by the Soviet state until the rights reverted to him in 1996. Pajitnov still works on Tetris through the Tetris Holding Co. which owns the rights to the game and licenses the content. Pajitnov is still in love with his game 25 years after its creation and so are its millions of fans. There is little debate that Tetris is one of the greatest and most influential games ever made.