Game Boy Tetris
Image: Damien McFerran / Nintendo Life

The ongoing crisis in Ukraine has put the spotlight on Russia and everything related to it – and, for many gamers, the most famous Russian export of all is the puzzler Tetris, which helped turn the Game Boy into a global success story in the early '90s.

While The Tetris Company – founded by Henk Rogers, Alexey Pajitnov and Blue Planet Software in 1996 to oversee licensing – is based in the United States, "From Russia with fun" was one of the original tag lines for the game, so it's easy to see why some people would want to seek clarity regarding the company's stance on the ongoing conflict.

Casey Pelkey, Vice President and General Manager of Tetris, Inc., agent to The Tetris Company, has shared this statement exclusively with Nintendo Life:

I had an opportunity to discuss with Alexey about what’s happening in Ukraine during his recent visit to our offices. Needless to say, he and the rest of our family at Tetris are heartbroken. We stand with Ukraine, and remain deeply saddened by the ongoing crisis which continues to threaten the safety and well-being of its citizens.

Designed by Alexey Pajitnov in 1984, Tetris' path to international renown was a complex one. Because it was created when the Soviet Union was still in place and the concept of intellectual property did not exist, the game became the property of the state; the scuffle to secure the western rights was so dramatic that it's been turned into a Hollywood movie, which is due to air on Apple TV soon (assuming the fallout from the Russian invasion hasn't delayed those plans, of course).

The Tetris Company joins the likes of The Pokémon Company, CD PROJEKT and EA in showing solidarity with the people of Ukraine. In addition to this, Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft have all suspended operations in the country.

Due to the sensitive nature of this ongoing story, we've decided to lock comments on this post.