Alexey Pajitnov and Henk Rogers, the men behind the original Tetris, sit down with Destructoid to discuss Tetris Attack…
HR: OK, well, Tetris Attack, we’ll do the second one first, Tetris Attack. Nintendo came to me soon after we formed The Tetris Company, and we were just wrestling with what we were going to do. And so, at the time, we had the copyright, the gameplay, and the name “Tetris”, and our Russian partners, who knew nothing about nothing, and I’m not talking about Alexey, I’m talking about Electronica Technica, they wanted to make money, no matter what. That’s it, “however you could make money, make money”. When Nintendo came to us, and said “we would like to take this Japanese game called Panel de Pon, and rename it Tetris Attack, I’m saying, “it’s not Tetris”. But my partner’s saying “but it is money!” So, uhhhh, so, we, I, reluctantly agreed. In retrospect, we should never have done that. I don’t think that’s a good idea. It dilutes the brand, it’s like naming another cartoon character Mickey Mouse just cause you need the money. It’s just a bad idea. So I wouldn’t do that again.
AP: It wasn’t a bad game.
HR: It was a good game! But the game should have had its own life, its own name.
AP: Unfortunately, it was too much corporate play …
HR: It should have had its own name. It kind of got lost in history cause it got the name Tetris, but it’s not Tetris. It could have, it should have stood up on its own two feet. That’s how I feel about games in general.