'Tetris' Inventor Pajitnov Still Involved In New 'Tetris' Games

If you haven't already downloaded "Tetris Party" on WiiWare, you should. It's the best "Tetris" game since Nintendo released "Tetris DS."

Russian game designer Alexey Pajitnov conceived "Tetris" in the 1980s. He's since moved on to other puzzle projects, such as "Hexic."

Pajitnov is still involved in the new versions of "Tetris" made these days, though the brand is primarily overseen by The Tetris Company.

At Nintendo's San Francisco media event at the end of September, Tetris Online (a division of The Tetris Company) VP of marketing Casey Pelkey explained how involved Pajitnov remains with each new version of "Tetris" that is produced.

"Alexey will come in and frequently provide his feedback, mostly as a game designer," said Pelkey. "It's really funny and somewhat impartial because he knows 'Tetris' so well and it's so near and dear to him. But as a game designer, he kind of forgets that and says 'is this game fun?'"

Our discussion over Pajitnov came up after I asked whether the "Tetris" creator had ever looked at a new element for a "Tetris" game and said "no."

"Alexey specifically won't go through each element and tell us 'you just can't do that,'" said Pelkey. "His feedback is critical but I can't say he would actually stop any particular development. I'm sure that if he was really adamant, we would know about it without question."

"[Pajitnov's] feedback is critical but I can't say he would actually stop any particular development"

It seems like Pajitnov knows that "Tetris" has become its own monster, and so long as new versions of the game still include some of the fundamentals, they can go wild elsewhere -- including support for peripherals like the "Wii Fit" balance board.

"Alexey's a game designer, so he appreciates innovation," said Pelkey. "He's never been one to say that the core guidelines of 'Tetris' can't be played with. At the end of the day, 'Tetris' is 'Tetris.' You have to start there and anything beyond that, basically, is kind of an open canvas for you to do what with you want with it."

Where would you like to see "Tetris" franchise go in the future?

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