Already recognized as one of the top video games of all time, Tetris has hit another milestone: 100 million paid mobile phone downloads.
The game, created by Alexey Pajitnov in 1984, is the most ported game, according to The Guinness World Records Gamer's Edition, with more than 55 different platforms.
Tetris' staying power surprises even its creator. "Obviously, I feel that this is a good game and I really expected it to have some kind of longer life because I didn't see why not. The platform changes but the human brain doesn't change that rapidly," said Pajitnov in an interview Wednesday. "But I didn't expect it to be such a long living (intellectual property). I am really amazed and pleased by this fact."
Initially created for home computers, Tetris landed on the Nintendo Game Boy when it launched in 1989 and on mobile phones in Japan ten years later. It first hit U.S. mobile phones in 2001.
The game's elegant design has allowed it to migrate, says Adam Sussman of EA Mobile, which publishes Tetris for mobile phones. "It is very easy to pick up and play but incredibly difficult to master. One of the incredible things about this IP is this ability to take it from one platform to another and it ports so seamlessly and you can have as good an experience with some of the older phones as you can with today's smart phones."
EA Mobile and Blue Planet Software, which has the rights to Tetris, announced the milestone of more than 100 million paid downloads on mobile phones since 2005, making Tetris the top-selling mobile game ever across any platform.
"Tetris is played by everybody, I mean every demographic, every culture, every age group so it fits very well with the mobile phone demographic because, guess what, everybody has a mobile phone," Rogers said. "So it is kind of a marriage made in heaven."
These days, Pajitnov, who quit working at Microsoft four years ago, is more of a custodian of Tetris. "This is the irony of my career because all my life I tried to design casual games," he said in an interview Wednesday. "Finally it gets its proper place now and I am not very active in game design any more."
But there are plans in the work for new iterations of Tetris that incorporate competition and social network later this year, they say. "Tetris has been the number 1 game since the mobile phone came out," Rogers said. "Other games have come and gone. Tetris still going.
USA Today has contributed to the report.