There have been many video games that were released since the 1980s. However most video games have a lifespan of a few years, then future generations do not get to experience the game unless an older relative still has that game and console lying around.
One game that did not suffer that fate was Tetris. Some people may wonder: Why was video game Tetris so popular in the 1980s, and why does it remain popular to this day?
The Origins Of Tetris
Tetris was created in the Soviet Union by Alexey Pajitnov who was a scientist at the time. The name comes from the Greek word “Tetarres” which means “four.”
What Is Tetris?
Tetris is a game where blocks of different shapes fall, and you are to arrange them to create horizontal lines. When you create a full horizontal line from left to right, the line disappears. You start with plenty of time in the beginning levels but as you advance to later levels, the blocks fall at a faster rate.
Once the falling block lands on the bottom or another block, it can not be moved or rotated. The game ends when blocks reach the top of the screen.
The Rise Of Tetris
In 1987, the game made its way to Europe and North America. At this point, Tetris was still exclusively on computers. Over the next couple of years, several different companies claimed to own the rights to Tetris and the game was released on Nintendo with one copy made by Tengen.
Around this time, Henk Rogers went to the Soviet Union to meet with Alexey Pajitnov and they become good friends, Pajitnov eventually gave Henk Rogers, who worked for Nintendo ,the rights for Tetris to appear on their new handheld console Game Boy.
Legal Troubles And Game Boy
The path of who owned Tetris is not clear because the copyrights were not kept track of which is why so many companies believed they owned the rights to Tetris.
It took a rigorous court case to say Nintendo had the rights, meaning the game “Tetris” made by Tengen had to be pulled from shelves only four weeks after appearing on the market.
In 1989, the Game Boy was released and the one game that was included with every Game Boy was Tetris.
Over 35 million units sold with the game, and adults loved Tetris from the very start.
Anyone from businessmen to children could play the game, and it was a time when video games were appealing to both young and old alike. The Game Boy would also have a few other great games, and while there were different competitors, the Game Boy would last longer than all of them.
Tetris Creates A Legacy
Tetris has remained popular over the years because it has appeared in numerous competitions like the Nintendo World Championships.
After appearing on Nintendo and the Game Boy, Tetris would continue to be released on different consoles with new modes and it always sold well.
As consoles like the Nintendo DS were released, Tetris could be played online and that would continue to help Tetris sell to a whole new generation.
Today, Tetris can be played on many different consoles including the PC, and since Tetris is a simple game to enjoy, it’s not hard to understand why Tetris has been popular for so long.
When the game was first created by Alexey Pajitnov, no one knew Tetris would become as popular as it had. It was released several different times and the story of “Who owned the copyright?” is interesting.
Tetris kept evolving over the years on different gaming systems, and the game would evolve by adding new modes and online play. Tetris is also one of the most accessible games regardless of what you do most of your gaming on. That is why Tetris has had a longer lifespan than most video games, and why it will continue to be popular going forward.