Also known for creating The Tetris Company with Alexey Pajitnov, and in turn winning back the rights to the Tetris series.
Currently developing Blue Mars, a virtual world experiment.
Life and career
Henk B. Rogers was born in the Netherlands and is of Dutch-Indonesian (Indo) descent. He lived in New York City, United States, from the age of eleven. He attended Stuyvesant High School where he got his first taste of computer programming. He then studied Computer Science and Role-Playing Games at the University of Hawaii.
During the late 1970s, he moved to Japan. He established his own publishing company Bullet-Proof Software to bring The Black Onyx to the market, where it sold 150,000 copies. This game was the first major turn-based RPG to hit stores in Japan (in contrast to contemporary real-time RPGs such as Bokosuka Wars, Dragon Slayer and Hydlide), predating the seminal Dragon Quest (1986).
Rogers discovered Tetris during a Consumer Electronic Show in Las Vegas in 1988. At the time, the game was being distributed in several countries under a master license agreement which the original licensee had not honored. Rogers went to Moscow (without an invitation) to see if he could obtain rights to distribute the game.
During the negotiations in Moscow, Rogers also became friends with the game's Russian author Alexey Pajitnov. In 1990, he helped Pajitnov move to the United States and set up a new company, AnimaTek, to develop new computer graphic technologies.
In 1996, the rights for Tetris reverted to Pajitnov. Rogers moved from Japan to Hawaii, where he founded Blue Planet Software and The Tetris Company, a Delaware company that exclusively licenses the Tetris trademark.