Tetris, one of the most successful and iconic video games every created was launched on this day 30 years ago. The colorful block puzzle game was a collaboration between its creator at the Soviet Academy of Sciences’ Alexey Pajitnov, and the man who ported it to the IBM PC, Vadim Gerasimov.

Tetris

What’s a Tetris?

The game that has gone on to sell around 170 million copies of which roughly 100 million are played on mobile devices, was created on the rack-mounted Elektronika 60 computer, that had no graphics output, using ASCII characters to form those iconic blocks. The name “Tetris” was derived from tetromino (each block is made of four squares) and tennis, Pajitnov’s favorite game.

Tetris became a Russian phenomenon quickly finding its way to Hungary, then the world. It took three years for a version of the game to reach the States with its pixelated scenes of Russia in the background. The game was fought over by different companies for some time as the licensing details remained vague.

Nintendo’s version and The Tetris Company

The most popular version of the game was released by Nintendo for the Game Boy in the late 80’s and sold over 33 million copies before the Game Boy was retired in 2003.

In 1996, Pajitnov finally earned the rights to the game that had traveled the world. Following this, The Tetris Company was formed and trademark registrations of “Tetris” now exist in nearly every country in the world.

That same (The) Tetris Company in conjunction with Ubisoft, will release Tetris Ultimate this summer for Xbox One and PlayStation 4 before launching for PC in the fall. The game will feature multiplayer functionality and include game modes that include: Marathon, Endless, Ultra, Sprint, Battle, and Power-Up Battle.

It’s expected that next week will see more details about the game make their way around the Internet when Ubisoft participates at the E3 gaming conference.