Alexy Pajitnov likes Tetris 99 Tetris esport, Tetris Effect is OK

The tale of how affable Alexey Pajitnov created universally beloved and culturally significant puzzle masterpiece Tetris behind the Iron Curtain has been told time and again. So we won’t rehash it here. In modern times though, Pajitnov licenses the Tetris brand through The Tetris Company, and he talked to USgamer about the current state of the brand, including Tetris 99 and Tetris Effect. Interestingly, he sees 99 as a promising step toward toward establishing the franchise as an esport:

“Tetris 99 is absolutely a great title,” he says. “Basically, I think the one-player version of Tetris has been more or less stabilized over the years. That’s good, and we’re just adjusting the game to new user interfaces. But for two-player modes and serious competition, there are several challenges to overcome.

“I really want Tetris to establish itself as an esport. We’re getting there very slowly but surely.”

Conversely, the feature describes Pajitnov as not “quite as over-the-moon” about Tetris Effect on PlayStation 4 and PC, though he is impressed by its visual effects. Honestly, I played the game once (in VR, no less) and was bored after 10 minutes, so I can understand a person not physically jumping over the moon for the game. Tetris 99 offers more novelty, from a gameplay perspective.

One more detail garnered from the article is that, amusingly, Alexey Pajitnov apparently had no idea that Sega Genesis Mini included an ultra-rare form of Tetris. In response to the revelation, he said, “Interesting. I’ll check it out.”

Anyway, could you see Tetris 99 laying the foundation for a Tetris esport? Tell us what you think!


John Friscia
Head Copy Editor for Enthusiast Gaming, Managing Editor at The Escapist. I'm a writer who loves Super Nintendo and Japanese role-playing games to an impractical degree. I really miss living in South Korea. And I'm developing the game Boss Saga!


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