There’s a copy of Tetris that’s worth around $16,000

Tetris is one of the most popular and iconic video games of all time.  First released back in 1986, the geometric puzzle game has now been ported to multiple platforms, so it’s an easy game to find and play.  With that in mind, it seems strange that a copy of the game exists that is worth an inordinate amount of money.

The copy in question is the Sega Mega Drive (Genesis to our American chums) version and it is worth up to $16,000.  But what makes this version in particular so rare?  There were allegedly only ten copies made and it was never released to the public, which makes it not just the rarest Tetris game, but one of the rarest games of all time.

Nobody seems to know for sure what exactly happened to this version of Tetris and why it wasn’t properly released.  However, most of the reports of this story suggest that the rarity of this version is due to conflicting licensing claims.

Although Tetris was created by a Russian computer engineer named Alexey Pajitnov, it actually belonged to the government.  Why? Because … Communism.

To cut a long story short, the Russian government owned the game and handled its distribution.  An English tech company, Andromeda, had somehow acquired a copy of the game and, because of the USSR’s silence on the matter, bought what they thought were the rights from some random company in Hungary.  Andromeda then began to license the game out to different developers.

However, the Russian government had already been doing the same.  As the game and its rights still technically belonged to the USSR, Andromeda and all the developers it had agreed deals with had to cease production. 

It is surmised that the fabled Mega Drive version of Tetris fell into this licensing black hole and was never seen again. That is until some crafty bugger somehow nabbed themselves a copy and flogged it online for an obscene amount of money.

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