We sneak into a secret party to celebrate 40 years of Tetris with its creators

Now we finally know the true story of how Henk Rogers made Alexei Pajitnov's game the biggest phenomenon of all time.

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Sometimes a person has to go beyond the allowed limits to get what he or she wants. Henk Rogers, the man who "discovered" Tetris and turned it into a global phenomenon and one of the most influential (and profitable) games in history, had to travel to the Soviet Union to negotiate the Tetris contract with the Russians. An odyssey that (with a Hollywood-style adaptation and dramatic touch) was brought to the big screen by Taron Egerton and Nikita Yefremov, who played the game's creator, Alexei Pajitnov.

You may already know, but Tetris is celebrating 40 years since its original release. And emulating Rogers' own feat, our special correspondent in Los Angeles David Caballero of Gamereactor Spain snuck into a secret party to celebrate the anniversary with the game's creator and the company that maintains and preserves Tetris as a brand and cultural legacy.

At the exclusive event, David attended a toast talk by Henk Rogers himself to those attending the event, where he recounts his adventures in communist Russia in 1989 and his friendship with Alexei Patijnov.


"I went to the Soviet Union in 1989 on a tourist visa and went into a ministry that I wasn't supposed to go into. And I really thought I was surrounded by KGB agents."

"I didn't know if I was going to be arrested. Imagine going to North Korea today and walking into a ministry and trying to talk to someone. It's not a good idea. It's not a good idea."

"And people ask me, you know, oh, you were very brave. The other way of looking at it was, I was so stupid. You know, there's two different ways of looking at it. I was a bit naive, and Alexei likes to put it that way."

In addition to meeting Rogers, David also had the opportunity to take a few minutes away from the party with Maya Rogers, Henk's daughter and current CEO of the company, who spoke about the past, present and future of Tetris, their collaborative projects with Red Cross, Minecraft and their efforts to continue to make Tetris a phenomenon that transcends borders, mindsets and entire generations of gamers.


David had to leave quickly from this secret event in Los Angeles, but he couldn't leave without shaking hands with the creator of Tetris himself, Alexei Pakhitnov, who was also kind enough to send a greeting to all Gamereactor readers.


Los Angeles is definitely the city of dreams. And Summer Game Fest has only just begun.

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