Tetris (NES video game)

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Tetris NES cover art.jpg
North American box art
Developer(s)Nintendo R&D1
Producer(s)Gunpei Yokoi
Composer(s)Hirokazu Tanaka
Platform(s)Nintendo Entertainment System
  • NA: November 1989
  • EU: February 23, 1990
Mode(s)Single-player, multiplayer

Tetris is a puzzle video game for the Nintendo Entertainment System released in 1989. It was the first official console release of Tetris which was developed and published by Nintendo.


By 1989, half a dozen different companies claimed rights to create and distribute the Tetris software for home computers, game consoles and handheld systems.[1] ELORG, the Soviet bureau that held the ultimate copyright, meanwhile, held that none of the companies was legally entitled to produce an arcade version, and signed those rights over to Atari Games, while it signed non-Japanese console and handheld rights over to Nintendo. Tetris was on show at the January 1988 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, where it was picked up by Dutch-born American games publisher Henk Rogers, then based in Japan, which eventually led to an agreement brokered with Nintendo that saw Tetris bundled with every Game Boy.[2] The Nintendo home release was developed by Gunpei Yokoi.


The soundtrack was written by Nintendo composer Hirokazu Tanaka, who also scored the Game Boy version. The soundtrack features arrangements of "The Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy" from Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's ballet The Nutcracker and from Georges Bizet's opera Carmen. The former arrangement replaces the arrangement of "Korobeiniki", present in the Game Boy version, which has become strongly associated with Tetris.

Classic Tetris World Championship[edit]

The NES version of Tetris has seen an increase in popularity in recent years due to the Classic Tetris World Championship held every year. Players compete in this version of Tetris in a 1-on-1 competition to score the most points. The popularity of the tournament has resulted in an increase in sales of this version of Tetris on online sellers.


The NES version sold 8 million copies worldwide.[3]


  1. ^ "From Russia with Litigation". Next Generation. No. 26. Imagine Media. February 1997. p. 42.
  2. ^ The Guardian, June 2, 2009, How Tetris conquered the world, block by block
  3. ^ Director/Producer: Magnus Temple; Executive Producer: Nick Southgate (2004). "Tetris: From Russia With Love". BBC Four. Event occurs at 51:23. BBC. BBC Four. The real winners were Nintendo. To date, Nintendo dealers across the world have sold 8 million Tetris cartridges on the Nintendo Entertainment system.