Tetris is one of the most famous and successful games ever made, and it has broken various records in its rich history of almost forty years. For lovers of retro games, it is probably no surprise that the offering which was first released in 1984 has enjoyed such a long ride across numerous platforms. However, other people may question how something so simple has excelled while technology has advanced around it. So how has Tetris endured for all these years? And where could it appear next?
One of the First Blockbuster Games
Tetris was developed by a Russian software engineer called Alexey Pajitnov, a computer genius with a desire to create content that would make people happy. Tetris was one of a few puzzle games that Pajitnov made when working at the Soviet Academy of Sciences, and it was an instant hit with his colleagues. Unfortunately for the Russian, he wasn’t business-minded and didn’t have a clear vision about how he could export his game to the masses.
Pajitnov initially struck a deal with Spectrum HoloByte to publish the game, but it was when Nintendo got hold of the rights that things really began to take off. The Japanese company managed to market the game to vast audiences worldwide when it became one of the flagship offerings on the first Game Boy in 1989. At the time, there was a fierce dispute going on over who owned the rights to the game. Nintendo, Atari, and Sega all staked a claim. This could have helped Tetris’s notoriety to grow.
Eventually, Pajitnov managed to reacquire the rights to his game and set up the Tetris Company with Henk Rogers in 1996. Thanks to the Game Boy version being one of the best-selling titles of all time with more than 35 million copies sold, the puzzle game already had a major springboard that the Tetris Company could use to achieve greater success later.
Adapted For Countless Devices
Since the rights of Tetris reverted to its creator and The Tetris Company, it has appeared on countless devices. Indeed, it has been on more than 65 different platforms, meaning it holds the Guinness World Record for the most ported video game of all time. In Tetris’s long history, estimates suggest that it has sold over 202 million copies. Roughly one-third of these have been through physical releases, while the rest has been made up of downloads.
There have been Tetris releases in nearly every year since its inception. Some of the most recent offerings include Tetris Effect for PlayStation 4 and Windows in 2018 and Tetris 99 for Nintendo Switch in 2019. The latter introduced an interesting twist in that it was done in a battle royale format. Only one player out of 99 was able to win.
Where Could Tetris Appear Next?
With Tetris already having appeared on multiple platforms over the decades, nobody will be surprised if it shows up in a brand new place. There is already a Sega game for PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X entitled Puyo Puyo Tetris, and there will likely be more offerings released on this new generation of consoles in the coming years.
Another place that could see more Tetris action could be online slots. According to Legal Betting, slots are among the most popular casino games in the USA. They are popular because there are games to suit almost any player, thanks to the vast number of themes available. It may be possible in the distant future that Tetris will have similar longevity to the likes of Poker or Blackjack, both are which are listed on this site. Scientific Games Corporation has already released Tetris Extreme, a slot game that will appeal to Tetris fans. The next stage could be to go one step further and have a Tetris slot that includes actual gameplay from the puzzle game as a side feature requiring skill to complete.
Tetris could also show up in cinema in the future. The game made an appearance in Pixels in 2015, but there hasn’t been a movie solely focused on Tetris as yet. It has been spoken of on a few occasions, though. In 2016, it was reported that Threshold Entertainment and the Tetris Company were planning to shoot a film in China the following year. However, this never came to fruition. More recently, there have been rumours that Taron Egerton will star as Rogers in a film that focuses on Tetris’s early days in the 1980s and 1990s.
Benefited From Mobile
Since Tetris’s release in the 1980s, the video game industry has come an incredibly long way. Games on consoles have become particularly advanced, with sprawling open-world offerings enabling players to do almost anything. The simplicity of Tetris may have survived through this thanks to the rise of mobile gaming.
Smartphones brought about a return of basic puzzle games that people could play in short bursts and put down again at a moment’s notice. Offerings like Candy Crush, Angry Birds and Doodle Jump operated on the same principles as Tetris. Tetris, therefore, was the perfect mobile game, and one that a lot of smartphone users were eager to download.
There are many reasons why Tetris has managed to stay relevant and popular for so long. The fact that it has been made for nearly every piece of technology has been the biggest help. But it’s also down to the simple and addictive format that pretty much anyone can grasp.