Alexey Pajitnov

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Alexey Leonidovich Pajitnov (Алексей Леонидович Пажитнов, transliterated as Aleksei Leonidovich Pazhitnov, born 1956) is a computer engineer from Russia now living in the United States, who developed the popular game Tetris while working for the Computing Center of the Soviet Academy of Sciences, a Soviet government-founded R&D center.

Despite being the developer of Tetris, Pajitnov did not profit from his creation, as rights were owned by his employer, the Soviet government, which distributed it freely throughout the USSR and Eastern Europe.[1] He only started profiting from his creation by 1996 when he and Henk Rogers formed The Tetris Company[2].



Alexey Pajitnov created Tetris with the help of Dmitry Pavlovsky and Vadim Gerasimov in 1985. The game, first available in the Soviet Union, appeared in the West in 1986. Pajitnov also created the lesser known sequel to Tetris, entitled Welltris, which has the same principle but in a three dimensional environment where you see the "board" from above.[3] Tetris was licensed and managed by Soviet company Elorg which had been founded specially for this purpose, 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 began working for Microsoft in October 1996. Pajitnov worked for 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. He left Microsoft in 2005.

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