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Alexey Pajitnov

Alexey Pajitnov
Alexey Pajitnov in Barcelona, Spain,
14 June 2008
Born Alexey Leonidovich Pajitnov
(1956-03-14) March 14, 1956
Moscow, Soviet Union
Residence USA
Nationality Russian
Occupation Video game designer and Computer engineer
Known for Developer of Tetris
Awards Game Developers Choice Awards First Penguin Award
LARA - Der Deutsche Games Award

Alexey Leonidovich Pajitnov (Russian: Алексе́й Леони́дович Па́житнов, ; Alekséi Leonídovich Pázhitnov; born 14 March 1956) is a Russian video game designer and computer engineer, who developed the popular game Tetris while working for the Dorodnitsyn Computing Centre of the Soviet Academy of Sciences, a Soviet government-founded R&D center.

He only started to get royalties from his creation in 1996 when he and Henk Rogers formed The Tetris Company.[1]


  • Biography 1
  • Works 2
  • Awards and recognition 3
  • See also 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6


Alexey Pajitnov created Tetris with the help of Dmitry Pavlovsky and Vadim Gerasimov in 1984. The game, first available in the Soviet Union, appeared in the West in 1986.

Pajitnov also created the lesser known sequel to Tetris, entitled (on NES: "From Russia With Fun!"). Because he was employed by the Soviet government, Pajitnov did not receive royalties.

Pajitnov, together with Vladimir Pokhilko, moved to the United States in 1991 and later, in 1996, founded The Tetris Company with Henk Rogers. He helped design the puzzles in the Super NES versions of Yoshi's Cookie and designed the game Pandora's Box, which incorporates more traditional jigsaw-style puzzles.

He was employed by Microsoft from October 1996 until 2005. While there he worked on the Microsoft Entertainment Pack: The Puzzle Collection, MSN Mind Aerobics and MSN Games groups. Pajitnov's new, enhanced version of Hexic, Hexic HD, was included with every new Xbox 360 Premium package.

On August 18, 2005, WildSnake Software announced Pajitnov will be collaborating with them to release a new line of puzzle games.[3]


Game Name First Released System Name(s) Pajitnov's Role(s)
Tetris 1984 Electronika 60, IBM-PC Original concept
(with Vadim Gerasimov & Dmitry Pavlovsky)
Welltris 1989 Amiga, Atari ST, Commodore 64, DOS, Macintosh & ZX Spectrum Designer
(with Andrei Sgenov)
Faces 1990 Amiga, DOS, Macintosh Original concept
(with Vladimir Pokhilko)
Hatris 1990 TurboGrafx-16, Arcade, Game Boy & NES Original concept
Knight Move 1990 Famicom Disk System (Japan) Idealist
Wordtris 1991 DOS, Game Boy, Mac OS, SNES Designer
El-Fish 1993 DOS Original concept
(with Vladimir Pokhilko)
Wild Snake / Super Snakey 1994 Game Boy, Super Nintendo Original concept
Knight Moves 1995 Microsoft Windows Idealist
Ice & Fire 1995 Windows, Macintosh & PlayStation Original concept
(with Vladimir Pokhilko)
Tetrisphere 1997 Nintendo 64 Contributor
Microsoft Entertainment Pack: The Puzzle Collection 1997 Windows & Game Boy Color Designer
Microsoft Pandora's Box 1999 Windows Designer
Microsoft A.I. Puzzler 2001 Windows Designer
Hexic 2003 Windows Original concept and design
Hexic HD 2005 Xbox 360
(Pre-loaded on every Xbox 360 hard drive)
Original concept and design
Dwice 2006 Windows Designer
Hexic 2 2007 Xbox 360
(Sold through Xbox Live Arcade)
Marbly 2013 iOS
(Sold through Appstore)
Original concept and design

Awards and recognition

  • In 1996, GameSpot named him as the fourth most influential computer game developer of all time.[4]
  • On March 7, 2007, he received the Game Developers Choice Awards First Penguin Award. The award was given for pioneering the casual games market.[5]
  • On June 24, 2009, he received the honorary award at the LARA - Der Deutsche Games Award in Cologne, Germany.[6]
  • In 2012, IGN included Pajitnov on their list of 5 Memorable Video Game Industry One-Hit Wonders, calling him "the ultimate video game one-hit wonder."[7]

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^

External links

  • Alexey Pajitnov profile at MobyGames
  • Tetris - From Russia with Love, BBC documentary (website).
  • Video Interview with Alexey Pajitnov at
  • Destroys the Market.Free and Open Source SoftwareTetris Creator Claims
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