Everybody and their grandfathers have at least heard and/or played Tetris, the most influential video game puzzle that has inspired countless other puzzlers like Bejeweled, Planet Puzzle League and Candy Crush Saga. The classic game is still being played up to this day, thanks to current mobile iterations from EA and Sega.
According to a report on Gamesbeat, mobile versions of Tetris were downloaded 425 million times. Tetris Company Managing Director Henk Rogers said that the download numbers are within a span of 14 years, and counts in the 70 million boxed copies of the game sold on Game Boy and other mobile platforms.
“It’s really spread over the whole period where phones have become able to play games,” Rogers said, “That first happened in Japan. Then it sprang up in the US and Korea and other places. That’s a total number over the last 14 years or so.” However, the numbers do not count the free-to-play variants like EA’s Tetris Blitz.
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Speaking of which, Rogers finds issues about how free-to-play games are monetised. “You could spend a couple of million dollars and build a great product in the old days, and then you’d know that a certain number of them would be sold. Nowadays, you have to build the game and then hope you can keep nickel-and-dime-ing people afterward.”
Rogers believe that F2P games interrupt the experience to ask for money, which then takes people away from the game. “What’s wrong with paying a little money? People won’t spend the amount of money they’d spend on a cup of coffee for a game that could last them weeks. The value proposition’s gotten all screwed up. People expect something for nothing.”
Rogers’ thoughts may be old school, but there are some developers who don’t consider the ramifications on F2P games that can abruptly interrupt a person’s playing experience. As for the fate of Tetris itself, EA still has the mobile rights for it. However, Ubisoft will be handling the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One iterations; no date has been announced yet.
In the meantime, take a gander at the famous puzzle game being displayed on a building in Philadelphia.