At Last, It’s All Falling Into Place

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At Last, It’s All Falling Into Place

The legal battle surrounding Tetris is something of a games industry legend. So it was inevitable that the story would receive the movie treatment at some point. However, unlike other recent Hollywood movies about video games, this one has its heart in the right place.

The video game Tetris was created by Alexey Pajitnov back in 1984, in the heart of the Soviet Union. The game was shared amongst his friends and then exploded in popularity across Russia, so much so that it impacted productivity at various workplaces.

The subsequent international licensing and the obvious issues fraught with that due to the way that the Soviet Union was structured underpins the immense complexities of its now legendary legal battle.

This is also the main core of the movie, chronicling the moustachioed Henk Rogers as he tries to license the game for international audiences and getting it onto the Game Boy.

The legal battle over Tetris has been thoroughly dissected in the decades since, and while this movie sticks to the spirit of that, there are some inevitable film related exaggerations. However, with the involvement of both Pajitnov and Rogers in the film’s creation, the story is kept broadly accurate.

Starting out with Rogers playing the game at a trade show, we follow his journey getting the game onto the Famicom, and then flying to Moscow to secure the hand held rights for the unannounced Game Boy.

In amongst all this are the now disgraced billionaire Robert Maxwell and the previous contractual negotiator, Robert Stein. All of them interested in securing the rights to a game that is clearly one of a kind.

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