How did Tetris get bundled with Game Boy systems? Henk Rogers explains

Some things in life just go together perfectly: peanut butter and jelly, a mimosa on the beach, and of course, Tetris and the Game Boy.

Think back to the golden age of the Game Boy. Do you remember how hot Tetris was back then? Quite a number of folks who owned the system also had a copy of the game. This was no mere coincidence, seeing that the two were sold together as a bundle. But, how did that come about? Tetris wasn’t really a Nintendo IP, after all. Well, it looks like all it took was some convincing from game designer Henk Rogers.

Rogers recently revealed in an interview with IGN Japan that he had a conversation with Mr. Minoru Arakawa, who was the president of Nintendo of America at the time. During this conversation, Rogers drove home the idea to Arakawa that a copy of Tetris should be included with every Game Boy. The rest, as we know, is history:

“I said, ‘Mr Arakawa, you need to include Tetris with every Game Boy’. And he said, ‘Why should I include Tetris when I have Mario?’ And I said, ‘If you want little boys to buy your Game Boy, pack in Mario. But if you want *everyone* to buy your Game Boy, pack in Tetris, because everybody plays Tetris – young, old and male, female. And then you can still sell Mario afterwards and make more money!’”

The Game Boy edition of Tetris went onto sell 35 million copies. The franchise as a whole has sold over 170 million across the massive amount of platforms that it’s been featured on over the years. That makes it the best-selling video game franchise of all time.

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A.K Rahming
Having been introduced to video games at the age of 3 via a Nintendo 64, A.K has grown up in the culture. A fan of simulators and racers, with a soft spot for Nintendo! But, he has a great respect for the entire video game world and enjoys watching it all expand as a whole.