The Story of Tetris | Gaming Historian -

The Story of Tetris | Gaming Historian

Gaming Historian
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In 1984, during the Cold War, a Russian programmer named Alexey Pajitnov created something special: A puzzle game called Tetris. It soon gained a cult following within the Soviet Union. A battle for the rights to publish Tetris erupted when the game crossed the Iron Curtain. Tetris not only took the video game industry by storm, but it also helped break the boundaries between the United States and the Soviet Union.

Intro – 00:00
Part 1: Pajitnov – 01:49
Part 2: Into the West – 10:03
Part 3: The Red Box – 17:19
Part 4: Enter Nintendo – 23:50
Part 5: Capitalism – 33:38
Part 6: Endgame – 44:12
End Credits – 55:38

In 1995, AcademySoft and Elorg’s license to Tetris expired but Elorg had filed copyright and trademark registrations for Tetris around the world and claimed it controlled the rights to Tetris. Henk Rogers founded Blue Planet Software and partnered with Alexey Pajitnov. In 1996, Blue Planet Software and Elorg (through an affiliate) formed The Tetris Company, LLC to serve as the exclusive licensor of Tetris so that the Tetris brand could continue to be commercialized. Over 425 million copies of Tetris have been sold on the mobile platform alone.

Henk and Alexey founded Tetris Holding and in 2005 acquired Elorg and all of its assets for $15 million.

Special Guests:
Lazy Game Reviews –
The Completionist –

End Credits Music by Andrew Lippens –

Tengen advertisement provided by the Video Game History Foundation –

Telex machine footage –

Original Tetris footage provided by Sergei Frolov –

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  1. Incredible detail, so well researched. Excellent work.

  2. "Never ending game of tennis," I see what you did there.

  3. yes an excellent documentary!!! Very very interesting!

  4. TLDR: Tetris is an addictive drug that spread throughout the world and everyone wanted to get their hands on it

  5. About 10 years ago I had acquired, through Craigslist, an original Grey Gameboy version of tetris for like less than 10 dollars. A year later I ended up dropping it. Still upset about it.

  6. This video made me crave the game. Found it on-line and got addicted to it.

  7. The Gospel:

    JESUS died for our sins on the cross, HE shed HIS holy, innocent , precious blood for us (HIS blood washes away ALL sins) HE was buried but on the third day GOD raised HIM from the dead. All you have to do to be saved is: Believe in JESUS, trust in HIS blood. JESUS did everything for you, no works are required for salvation (Ephesians 2:8-9) . (Don’t forget to repent of sin. )!!

  8. Why is this NOT a movie and the douchebag from Facebook has one?

  9. I'm a simple man. When Norm's Tetris video pops up in my recommended, I watch it. Doesn't matter how many times I've seen it already.

  10. Can we take a minute to appreciate the sheer BALLS Robert Stein had to fly to 1980's Moscow for a negotiation in Russia with ELORG for rights when he was already actively stiffing them on his previous contract agreement?

  11. But who own the rights to the Boeing version – you know, the one I play for hours on the built in screen when I'm on a long flight! 😉

  12. Love how the legendary Miyamoto was introduced just as "one of Nintendo's designers"

  13. The beginning is biased as f*ck. I mean, both superpowers had ups and downs, both weren't perfect, but from this intro it seems that America was the land of prosperity where everyone was happy and Soviet Union was an equivalent of Mordor.

  14. 27:49 ummm, why does young Rogers look a lot like me as an adult😥. (Rogers on the right)

  15. I literally applauded during the credits. This was an intriguing story that was masterfully told and illustrated.

  16. Citizen Layne applauses for the creator of this documentary, hooked from the start

  17. 19:19

    this song hits different than it did when this video was released

  18. This is so epic! & one of the greatest games ever to exist very thankful for both the game & this documentary of the game! Thank you very much!

  19. This was Excellent ! Very well done. I’m glad my guy got his money too…

  20. Conmen and Communists: The Tetris Story

    What a crazy combination of quckery, that q is a f but we like a qayss world now. But for real, Maxwells and Stein really are the disgusting ones, dude never even paid them it seems, but luckily Elrog dude made out in end st 15 mil would have been amazing, along with Alekevy.

  21. Anyone know that version of the tetris song playing during the epilogue?

  22. The story of Tetris. In song: I am the man who arranges the blox that descend upon me from up above. They come down and I spin them around til they fit in the ground like hand in glove.
    – a historical marvel of creativity hWTFG3J1CP8

  23. What an outstanding story. Awesome documentary Norman!!

  24. We’re researching this game’s addictive nature. Yeah, that’s what we’re doing…

  25. Where the f**k do you get all this information?!?! 😄

  26. 56:06 Hold on, the guy studying the psychological effects murdered his own family?? Didn’t see that coming. We need a full story on THAT TOO!

  27. I only knew about Pajitnov, but not all the background of Tetris. All I have to say is excellent video!

  28. The parroted propaganda is strong in this video.

  29. let this be a lesson in how awful communism is.

  30. Capitalism would have given all rights to the creator to do with as he pleases. Elorg being involved is not “capitalism”.

  31. By far and away the best video game documentary I've ever seen.

  32. Fun fact : Tetris Original theme was a Russian Folk Song

  33. You’re a true filmmaker. Not just a Youtuber.

  34. The rivalry between Atari, Nintendo, Sony, Sega, etc…. Was absolutely insane in the 80s and 90s. Many lawsuits and years later, the gaming industry is more united than ever. Thank you Super Smash Bros!

  35. TetrisDoge is a crypto where you play Tetris and earn Doge.

  36. Stein is so dumb all this could have been avoided if he wasn't so stupid and not understand what a computer is and then selling rights to a game he doesn't own then they go on to sub license it their also dumb but not as dumb as stein I believe he knew all along what computers are and game systems are but wanted to just make money and alot of it and by he went about things shows that

  37. Yea nothing was signed because of Stein not listening and thinking a verbal agreement is just as good as a contract

  38. I wish their was a mode on the Gameboy were it didn't speed up that always screws me over around 65 to 70 thousand as 1 mess up and its over in less then 2 minutes

  39. See like I said Stein is doing it all for money he never made a payment and kept selling rights and making money yea thats a scammer

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