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The Tetris Timeline

Now nearly 40 years old, the Tetris franchise has grown to be one of the largest video game franchises of all time. With well over 200 official Tetris releases, an incredible amount of merch and lifestyle products, movie adaptations, and even traveling to space, it has solidified itself as the classic video game.

I love Tetris's history, and the story of the early days is one of the best in the games industry. However, that's just a small slice of it's storied history, here's the rest, from my point of view.

Tetris Timeline

  • 1984

    Alexey Pajitnov

    The idea for Tetris is born.

  • 1985

    Alexey develops the first version of Tetris on the Electronika 60 computer at the Academy of Sciences.

  • With the help of Vadim Gerasimov, an IBM PC port was developed. During the next two years Tetris spreads across the world.

  • 1986

    Robert Stein is introduced to Tetris at SZTAKI in Hungary, and seeks out the license to distribute the game.

  • 1988

    The first commercial versions of Tetris are released. Tetris for the C64 by Mirrorsoft, and Tetris for IBM PC by Spectrum HoloByte.

  • Atari Tetris, the introduction of Tetris to arcade goers.

  • Henk Rogers founder of BPS, sees Tetris at CES in Las Vegas. He gets a license to publish Tetris in Japan.

  • Tetris (BPS) was released on several computer platforms. It also made its way to word processors, PDAs and the Famicom. It was the first Tetris released in Japan.

  • Tetris (Sega) (sublicense from Atari) - This version was a huge hit in arcades. One arcade was still running ten Tetris cabinets four years after the game's release, and making 30,000¥ per day. In Taipai there is still an arcade with at least 9 machines, filled by a geriatric gamer crowd.

  • Tetris (Famicom)
    BPS publishes the first Tetris for consoles. Though later finds out no one had a license to publish Tetris on consoles, only computers.

  • 1989

    Henk Rogers lands in Moscow to try and win the rights to Tetris for Game Boy

  • Alexey, Vladimir Pokhilko and Henk found Animatek, the company behind El-Fish

  • Howard Lincoln sends C&D to Atari for tetris

  • Tetris for Mega Drive is blocked from publishing by Nintendo. Only a few copies exist making it one of the rarest games in the world.

  • Atari sues Nintedo

  • Tetris Tengen for the NES, only for sale for 4 weeks when a preliminary injunction is issued

  • GB Tetris launched as a pack-in game for the Game Boy.

  • Nintendo wins the case against Atari and is seen as the rightful licensor of Tetris for consoles

  • NES Tetris, the classic version of the game that was once overshadowed by the Game Boy version, it is now one of the most watched versions of the game.

  • 1990

    Nintendo World Championships 1990 featured three games. These three games were modified to work on a single cartridge. Both a grey and gold version exist, and are very limited.

  • 1991

    Tetris 2 + Bombliss - Produced by Tsunekazu Ishihara (now president of The Pokémon Co) he was a huge Tetris fan and is credited with designing some of the puzzles in the game.

  • Belikov privatizes Elorg as the Soviet Union collapses

  • Alexey immigrates to the US

  • 1992

    Tetris CD-i - The first Tetris released on optical media.

  • Super Tetris 2 + Bombliss

  • 1993

    Tetris Battle Gaiden

  • Tetris becomes the first video game to be played in space

  • 1994

    Super Tetris 3 - The first Tetris to have a 4 player mode.

  • Tetris & Dr. Mario

  • 1995


  • 1996

    Henk Rogers, Alexey Pajitnov and Nikolai Belikov create The Tetris Company, Inc.

  • Henk Rogers founds Blue Planet Software, Inc., the sole agent for The Tetris Company, Inc.

  • Nikolai Belikov founds Games International, Inc. which owns 50% of The Tetris Company. The other 50% is owned by Blue Planet Software

  • Tetris X

  • Tetris Plus

  • Tetris S

  • 1997

    Tetris introduces their new logo designed by Roger Dean. It first appears in Tetris 64, and Magical Tetris Challenge

  • Tetris Plus 2

  • 1998

    Tetris The Grand Master - A master piece of a game, incredibly solid gameplay, fully featured versus mode, and still has a vibrant and strong community today.

  • Tetris DX the first game to feature 40 lines mode (Sprint mode)

  • Tetris 64 - This was the one and only game that worked with the Bio Sensor accessory.

  • Magical Tetris Challenge

  • Tetris 4D

  • 1999

    The Next Tetris

  • The New Tetris
    The first game to include hold, and invented the bag randomizer.

  • Kids Tetris

  • The first online multiplayer Tetris game is released, Sega Tetris

  • 2000

    Shockwave Tetris is released, the first web based Tetris game.

  • Tetris with Cardcaptor Sakura Eternal Heart

  • Tetris The Absolute The Grand Master 2

  • SuperLite 1500 Series: The Tetris

  • The Next Tetris: On-Line Edition

  • 2001

    Tetris Worlds the first game to implement the Tetris Guideline gameplay rules.

  • G-MODE releases the first Tetris game for mobile phones in Japan.

  • 2002

    Henk Rogers founds Blue Lava Wireless and it becomes the exclusive licensee for Tetris on mobile devices.

  • Pokémon Tetris

  • Tetris for the WonderSwan

  • 2003

    Tetris (Blue Lava Wireless) , with Deluxe and Casecade later in the year.

  • Com2uS releases Net Tetris for mobile phones in Korea.

  • Tetris Kiwamemichi

  • Tetris Advance

  • 2004

    BPS and Alexey sue Belikov for the remaining rights to Tetris and lose

  • 2005

    Tetris The Grand Master 3 Terror-Instinct

  • The remaining rights to Tetris are bought from Belikov for $15 million who's share was 50%

  • Tetris DS (THQ) prevented by TTC to be released

  • JAMDAT Mobile aquires Blue Lava Wireless for $137 million, along with a 15 year exclusive world wide license for Tetris mobile phone games.

  • Minoru Arakawa (Former president of Nintendo of America), Henk, and Alexey found Tetris Online Japan, Inc. and soon after Tetris Online, Inc.

  • EA purchases JAMDAT for $680M, EA's biggest acquisition at the time.

  • TGM Ace

  • 2006

    Tetris DS

  • Tetris Mania

  • Tetris Collection

  • 2007

    Tetris Zone

  • Tetris Evolution

  • Tetris Online

  • Tetris Splash

  • 2008

    Tetris iOS

  • Tetris Pop J2ME

  • Tetris Friends

  • Tetris Party released on WiiWare, and 2010 gets a physical release Tetris Party Deluxe

  • 2009

    TGM4 announced by TGM producer Mihara at Amusement Machine Show

  • Tetris for the PSP, a downloadable game.

  • Tetris Giant

  • 2010

    First CTWC, Jonas Neubauer takes the title defeating Harry Hong

  • Tetris for the PS3 available on the PlayStation Store

  • 2011

    Tetris Axis

  • 2012

    Tetris Holding, LLC v. Xio Interactive, Inc.

  • 2013

    Tetris Blitz

  • Tetris Monsters

  • 2014

    Puyo Puyo Tetris released in Japan

  • Maya Rogers, Henk's daughter becomes CEO of Blue Planet Software

  • Tetris movie announced Larry Kasanoff the man behind Foodfight! Source

  • 2015

    Tetris enters the Video Game Hall of Fame

  • 2016

    Tetris Burst

  • Tetris Twist, first HTML5 powered game

  • Tetris movie announced that it will be a trilogy. I question what they even did for the last two years. Pictured is co-producer Bruno Wu

  • 2017

    Tetris MicroCard is finally released after being annouced in 2015

  • Puyo Puyo Tetris released outside of Japan

  • 2018

    Tetris Effect

  • 2019

    Tetris Journey, first foray into Chinese market?

  • Tetris 99, tetris battle royale

  • Tetris Royale, tetris battle royale... on your phone

  • Tetris Gems, a game with cascade mechanics

  • Tetris brand celebrates it's 35th anniversary

  • N3TWORK gets Tetris license

  • Tetris Dimensions, a redemption arcade game with gameplay similar to Tetris Gems. It did not do well in playtests and was never released

  • Tetris arcade ported by M2 for the Sega Mega Drive Mini

  • Tetris M1ND BEND3R a colab with Red Bull, first game to use the new logo

  • 2020

    Tetris for mobile

  • EA's 15 year license ends a little early. Their mobile Tetris and Tetris Blitz games are delisted from app stores.

  • Tetris biopic announced unrelated to the other movie announcement from 2014

  • Tetris Clash, a mobile game where you can earn or lose money.

  • Blue Planet Software renames itself to Tetris

  • Puyo Puyo Tetris 2

  • 2021

    Tetris Beat, first official Tetris game available on macs since 2007, though I'm not sure this would satisfy John Gruber

  • Playstudios aquires rights to mobile Tetris from N3twork

  • 2022

    Tetris Story

  • Tetris The Grand Master is released for the Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 4, 23 years after the canceled PS1 port was announced.

  • 2023

    Game Boy Tetris is re-released on Nintendo Switch Online.

  • Tetris (2023) is released on Apple TV+