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Alexey Pajitnov

Alexey Pajitnov

Russian video game designer and computer engineer
Alexey Pajitnov
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro Russian video game designer and computer engineer
Is Computer scientist Software engineer Programmer Game designer
From United States of America Russia
Type Creativity Gaming Technology Science
Gender male
Birth 14 March 1956, Moscow, Russia
Age 65 years
The details (from wikipedia)


Alexey Leonidovich Pajitnov (born 14 March 1956) is a Russian video game designer and computer engineer who developed 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.


Pajitnov was born on 14 March 1956 in Moscow, in the Soviet Union. He studied applied mathematics at the Moscow Aviation Institute. He then went on to work on speech recognition at the Dorodnitsyn Computing Centre where he would develop Tetris.

As a child, he was a fan of puzzles and played with pentomino toys. In creating Tetris, he drew inspiration from these toys. 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 a sequel to Tetris, entitled Welltris, which has the same principle but in a three dimensional environment where the player sees the playing area from above. Tetris was licensed and managed by Soviet company ELORG, which had a monopoly on the import and export of computer hardware and software in the Soviet Union, and advertised with the slogan "From Russia with Love" (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 18 August 2005, WildSnake Software announced that Pajitnov would be collaborating with them to release a new line of puzzle games.

Personal life

Pajitnov's son, Dmitri, died in a skiing accident on Mount Rainier in 2017.


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, Classic Mac OS, SNES Designer
El-Fish 1993 DOS Original concept
(with Vladimir Pokhilko)
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.

On 7 March 2007, he received the Game Developers Choice Awards First Penguin Award. The award was given for pioneering the casual games market.

On 24 June 2009, he received the honorary award at the LARA - Der Deutsche Games Award in Cologne, Germany.

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."

The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
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