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Tetris 40th Anniversary - Maya Rogers Interview

The president and CEO of Tetris gave us an exclusive interview during a celebration of 40 years of the iconic game.

Audio transcription

"Alright, we are in LA celebrating the 40th anniversary of Tetris and we already congratulated the creator, Alexey Pajitnov, and also Henk Rogers and now, of course, we have to talk to the boss."

"Congratulations on Tetris' 40th anniversary.
Maya, thank you so much for joining us.
Thank you so much, we're so excited.
Can you believe it's been 40 years since the game was created? That's a long time."

"That's really crazy and you guys, you were talking about several things, the Tetris product is many things now.
First of all, I wanted to ask you about the collaboration you guys are running with Red Cross.
Yeah, so we just launched a blood drive in the United States, so people who want to give blood, they can get an exclusive Red Cross t-shirt and some lucky people will get a specially made handheld device."

"And it's really to raise awareness for the Red Cross, you know, and everybody needs to give blood because it's such a short supply.
For how long is it going to be running?
It's until June 9th."

"June 9th, I will publish it right away.
So give blood, give blood please.
Exactly, exactly.
Also, during your presentation you mentioned the movie as well."

"Of course, it's pretty recent, we all have seen it, it's lots of fun.
How did you feel yourself, you know, about both how the story was portrayed and how your family was portrayed?
So if you haven't seen the movie, it's a movie about my father, Hank Rogers, played by Taron Egerton."

"And it's a story of him going to the Soviet Union in the 1980s on a tourist visa.
And me watching the movie, obviously I knew the story growing up, but watching the movie as like the audience, I was like, wow, what a crazy guy to have done this."

"There's no way, I'm the CEO of Tetris today, if you watch the movie, I'm the little girl in the movie, and like there's no way that I could have done that, what he did.
You know, go to the Soviet Union on a tourist visa, and he had everything on the line."

"So I think seeing the movie made and seeing it from that perspective was like such a fresh perspective that I hadn't really realized.
Wow, what a legacy, like what did my crazy dad do, you know?
But really, that's what happened, right?
And so, you know, if you haven't checked it out, it's on Apple TV+, so please watch it."

"My team is there dancing, I'm going to dance with you, stop it! You guys know how to throw a party too, so yeah, we're going to be quick.
Yeah, you can keep dancing, no problem, it makes for the fun.
So, speaking about the movie itself, do you have anything to share about its success on Apple TV a year after its release?
Yeah, I mean definitely I think it expanded our audience to a newer generation."

"I think we're very unique in that we're one of the first video games that came out in the market and is still relevant today after 40 years.
And it just speaks to how perfect the game was, right?
Alexei Pajitov created the perfect game, and it transcends generations, it transcends different cultures."

"You know, it's a game for everyone, and the movie just kind of showcased that.
But also, the movie was really about the friendship between two people that came from different worlds.
And it really just kind of goes to show that people are all the same, and we're all humans, and we all connect and bond with each other."

"And it's really a movie about friendship, and that's what made it special.
And of course, yeah, you had the perfect game.
Your father himself shared some very similar thoughts.
I'm very different to Alexei."

"All the things he said are on the record or off the record.
On the record! Fantastic.
Yeah, sure.
So speaking about collaborations, you had the movie, you had the Red Cross, and also Minecraft."

"What can you tell me about that, which is more gaming-related?
Yeah, so we're very excited.
We just launched a collaboration with Minecraft today, June 6th, Tetris' birthday.
So we have a special kind of Minecraft level that's Tetris-related, and there's special downloadable content that people can download that are specific to Tetris."

"So we're reaching to the younger generation, and it's two great brands, right?
Tetris was the number one sold game of all time.
And so it's really the two of the biggest-selling games coming together and collaborating, so it's such an exciting time for us."

"And they are both blocky, so the only thing you're missing is LEGO now.
That's right, LEGO.
From the other gaming collaborations that you have done in the past, we've seen Tetris being transformed in different forms in terms of gaming, not just the classic game, but we've seen it in 3D, in a sphere."

"Which one would you say was the most successful or the most interesting for the audiences?
Well, the one that almost broke the Internet I talked about earlier was Blue Scooty, and he's actually here today."

"We had him here, yeah.
He was a 13-year-old boy that beat the original Tetris game on the NES, and that kind of showed you, like, he broke, he was, it shows you how the game kind of transcended over generations."

"So now, like, teenagers are playing it today, and he broke it, right?
He figured out, like, they figured out, the new generation of Tetris players figured out how to beat the original game, one of the original games anyway.
So that was an exciting moment for us, because it really transcended."

"It wasn't just gaming news, but it's cultural news, it was, like, a generational thing, and it was international news.
So, yeah, that was really exciting for us.
I was going to ask about him, but you answered already."

"So, yeah, any other surprises that we can expect from you guys in the next few months?
I think, well, some surprises that have already been announced, we announced a collaboration with Supreme, so we have a new handheld coming out sometime this spring."

"I guess it's already kind of going into the summer, so it should launch soon.
You know, we're just busy, there's so many things happening, and nothing we can probably announce on this interview right now, but please stay tuned, Tetris.com, you know, we're a game that's been around, and we're here to stay."

"Congratulations again, and for another 40 years.
Thank you so much.
Thank you."

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