Here's how the story goes: Dude creates Tetris, dude gets no royalties. Poor, poor dude. WRONG! Creator Alexey Pajitnov tells GameSpot:
...first of all, it's not true, because originally I granted my rights to Tetris to my Computer Center, to my organization, for 10 years. And when those 10 years expired, I got my rights back. And since 1996, I've been receiving some royalties for it. And I'm pretty happy with what I'm getting now. And I never complain about those 10 years, either... In order to fight for my rights for the rest of my life, I decided to give it up for a while and make it happen. This decision should be done before people realise what we've given them.
So, Alexey has been rolling in royalties since '96? Don't feel so bad for him. Elsewhere in the Q&A, he talks about how he's not a great Tetris player and being "really angry" at the Bejeweled creators. All that and more in the link below. Tetris Interview [GameSport] Alexey Pajitnov [flickr]