Tetris is a video game franchise managed by The Tetris Company, and owned by Tetris Holding. Blue Planet Software acts as the sole agent for the Tetris brand, and is 50% owner of The Tetris Company, the other 50% owner being Tetris Holding. Created by Alexey Pajitnov in 1985, this action puzzle game that revolves around fiting tetrominoes together to clear lines.
During the time of its creation, Pajitnov lived in the USSR and was not able to sell the game. He released the game for free, and it spread through the computer lab quickly taking time away from everyone's work. Vadim Gerasimov ported Tetris for the IBM PC, a more common platform in the west, allowing the game to spread even further. It wasn't until Robert Stein from Andromeda Software noticed the game at a computer lab in Hungary that the game got its first license inquiry. Stein contacted Pajitnov with a request to license the game for computers. Stein then sublicensed the game to Mirrorsoft in the UK, and Spectrum HoloByte in NA, which created and sold the first two titles in the game's franchise.
Instead he signed away the rights to Elorg for an exclusive period of 15 years.
The name Tetris is a portmanteau of the words tetra, the greek prefix for four, which represents the tetrominoes, and tennis, Pajitnov's favorite sport. The term "Tetris" not only refers to the Tetris franchise, but also Tetris Line Clear, a special type of line clear, only possible with the I-tetromino, that clears 4 lines at once. It also refers to many games in the franchise simply titled "Tetris".
- Main article: Gameplay overview
Tetrominoes fall from the top of the playfield one at a time. The player must arrange them by translating and rotating them so when they land and lock, they fit together filling rows. When a row is filled, it is removed from the playfield, and any blocks above the line clear will fall by the exact number of lines cleared. As the game progresses, the tetrominoes fall faster, making the game more difficult. Once a player tops out, the game ends.
In older games, the goal is usually to score as many points as possible before topping out. Some of these games will only reward the player with points for placing pieces, and not clearing lines. Some games have a fixed reward regardless of the line clear type. Newer games usually have a variety of game modes, with the main ones usually focusing on both speed and scoring.