Tetris (Spectrum Holobyte)

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Tetris (Spectrum Holobyte) cover.jpg
DeveloperSphere, Inc.
PublisherSpectrum Holobyte
SystemsAmiga, Apple II, Atari ST, DOS, Mac OS, Win 3.x
DOS: January 1988
Amiga, Apple II, Mac OS: 1988
Atari ST: 1989
Tetris Classic
DOS, Windows 3.x: 1992
Added to
Tetris Gold:
Tetris (DOS, Mac OS): April 5, 2020
Tetris Classic (DOS, Windows 3.x): April 5, 2020

Tetris is an influencial puzzle video game. Spectrum Holobyte developed the first version to be released outside of the USSR.


The original version of Tetris was developed by Alexey Pajitnov on an Elektronika 60 computer while employed as a computer engineer at the Dorodnitsyn Computing Centre of the Academy of Sciences of the Soviet Union in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics on June 6, 1984.

It was ported to DOS by Vadim Gerasimov, then a high school student, and was expanded by Gerasimov, Pajitnov, and Dmitry Pavlovsky, a computer engineer, from 1984 to 1986.

Original commercial release

As the game was made in the USSR, a communist country that was largely closed to outsiders, it was irregular for a product to have a worldwide commercial release.

However, a British man named Robert Stein sought the rights to Tetris. He first made telephone calls with Pajitnov, and later was told to deal with AcademySoft, the internal licensing and publishing division of the Soviet Academy. He was told that they were interested, and, taking this as a verbal agreement, began to make deals with the British publisher Mirrorsoft to sell Tetris for computers in Europe and the American publisher Spectrum HoloByte to sell Tetris for computers in North America.

Before Tetris was commercially released Stein was contacted by the Soviet organization known as Elektronorgtechnica, or Elorg, which informed him that he did not have a contract to publish Tetris and that all further negotiations would have to go through them.

Stein flew to the Soviet Union to meet with Elorg directly, however, before any contract was signed, the commercial versions of Tetris were released, in January 1988, and became huge successes. Stein eventually signed a deal with Elorg on May 10, 1988, which gave him the right to release Tetris on home computers as well as the vaguely worded "different types of computers".

Tetris Classic

Tetris Classic was an enhanced remake of Spectrum Holobyte's original DOS version of Tetris. Released for DOS and Windows 3.x in 1992, it contained VGA graphics with new backgrounds and full digitized sound with music based on Russian compositions.