As a simple, peaceful video game with an abstract concept that genuinely appeals to people of all ages, Tetris is not just unlike any other but also arguably the most popular across the globe. Thus, of course, there has always been quite an intrigue surrounding its inventor and its tale of market introduction, the latter of which has actually been dramatized in the Apple TV+ film ‘Tetris.’ So now, if you simply wish to learn more about Soviet designer/creator Alexey Pajitnov — with a specific focus on his career trajectory as well as his net worth — we’ve got the details for you.
How Did Alexey Pajitnov Earn His Money?
Although Alexey was born to writer-journalist parents in Moscow, Soviet Russia, on April 16, 1955, he became utterly fascinated with all sorts of games, puzzles, and mathematic tasks by age 14. It was hence no surprise when he chose to enroll at the Moscow Aviation Institute in the 1970s to earn a Master’s degree in Applied Mathematics before kickstarting his professional experiences. He did intern for a summer at the Soviet Academy of Sciences in 1977, yet his first proper job only came following his graduation in 1979 at the Academy’s Dorodnitsyn Computing Centre.
According to reports, Alexey worked in the pioneering fields of speech recognition as well as artificial intelligence, soon resulting in him being asked to test new equipment through programming. However, he ended up using this opportunity as an “excuse for making games,” the inspirations for which were primarily his happy childhood memories surrounded by colors, movies, and creative arts. He actually began working on what would become the original version of Tetris on an Electronika 60 in 1984, just for the initial prototype (without levels or scores) to be completed on June 6.
One thing then led to another, and the game debuted in the Western World on the down low from the Soviet Union in 1986, though every significant licensing deal was only finalized around 1989. That’s the same year Alexey developed Tetris’ sequel Welltris with the same principle — the sole difference was that it was in a three-dimensional environment with a downward point of view. He subsequently conceived games like Faces and Hatris to raise his exposure but permanently relocated to the United States for even better opportunities by the time late 1991 rolled around.
In the ensuing four years, Alexey not just conceptualized a few more games for platforms such as DOS, Game Boy, and Mac OS, but he also witnessed Tetris break all bounds within the industry. Nevertheless, it was not until he established The Tetris Company alongside distributor/fellow programmer Henk Rogers in 1996 that he finally started receiving royalties for his thriving software. This portion stake facet was honestly much more than simply well-deserving, precisely like him landing a job as an engineer and video game innovator for Microsoft in October of the same year.
From what we can tell, throughout the eight years Alexey was there (until 2004), he served on Microsoft Entertainment Pack: The Puzzle Collection, MSN Mind Aerobics, and MSN Game Groups. He actually parted ways with the company in 2005 to announce his collaboration with WildSnake Software to release a new line of puzzle games, only to return the following year as a consultant. In fact, in 2006, his enhanced version of old games like Hexic was subsequently packed with every new Xbox 360 Premium purchase, plus in 2013, he concocted Marbly from scratch for iOS.
Alexey Pajitnov’s Net Worth
While Alexey has never once revealed his royalty percentage for any game, his exact earnings, and the extent of his business, we do know he is relatively affluent due to Tetris’ popularity alone. “I don’t know what this means,” he once candidly yet coyly stated upon being asked if he’s rich. “I don’t read the American magazines that describe the lives of wealthy men. So I honestly don’t know. I own my house [in Seattle]. My family doesn’t need anything. I have my business and I stay in nice hotels.” Plus, he even owns an apartment in Moscow, Russia, where he resides each spring as a staycation, sometimes alongside his wife Nina and their two sons, Peter and Dmitri. Therefore, as per our estimates, it appears as if the computer-gaming enthusiast’s net worth is close to $20 million as of writing.