- World visionary of computer games
- Launched Tetris all over the world, selling over 125 million games…and still growing
- Founder of Blue Planet Software, Blue Lava Wireless, Blue Lava Technologies, and Blue Planet Foundation- which has become the frontline organization in the fight for indigenous renewable energy in Hawaii.
Travels from Oahu, Hawaii
Keynote Fee: Contact Forte
Considered one of the visionaries of computer games, Henk Rogers helped change the face of the industry as the entrepreneur responsible for bringing Tetris to the United States and world market. Under Roger’s direct leadership, Tetris is one of the world’s top-selling games with over 125 million copies sold. After 25 years since its “birth,” that number is still growing.
A native of Holland, Rogers moved to New York City in 1964 and attended Stuyvesant High School, where he programmed a computer for the first time. In 1972, Rogers moved to Hawaii, where he majored in computer science at the University of Hawaii and spent his free time playing Dungeons and Dragons. In 1976, Rogers relocated to Japan, got married and started a family. Six years later, he designed, developed and published the first role playing game in Japan—The Black Onyx—which, in 1984, ranked as the #1 game in Japan. Bullet-Proof Software, which published the game, was Henk’s first computer game publishing business.
In 1988, having published numerous computer games from around the world in the Japanese market, Henk discovered Tetris at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Tetris became Bullet-Proof Software’s biggest hit, selling millions in Japan on the Nintendo Family Computer.
Rogers’ biggest coup took place in 1989 when he flew to Moscow to negotiate with the Soviets for the Game Boy rights to Tetris. He subsequently licensed the Game Boy rights to Nintendo, where it would go on to make their handheld platform the most popular portable game system of its time and, in the process, sell well over 35 million copies of Tetris.
During the negotiation process, Rogers befriended Tetris author and fellow game designer Alexey Pajitnov. Rogers eventually helped Pajitnov and his family relocate to the United States. In 1996, Rogers and Pajitnov formed the business relationship that ultimately became a key part of The Tetris Company—still the exclusive source of all licenses to Tetris, one of the most popular computer games ever created.
Rogers is presently creating one of the first venture accelerators in Hawai’i. Blue Startups helps small teams of budding entrepreneurs incubate into viable businesses, ready for angel and venture capital funding. In 2012, Pacific Business News named him one of the “10 to Watch.”
Rogers suffered a serious heart attack and then turned his passion toward the environment—specifically a radical change in how we preserve and care for the beautiful land in Hawai‘i. He created Blue Planet Foundation, headquartered in Honolulu, where he now lives, with a mandate to fulfill the end the use of carbon-based fuels on Earth, starting with Hawai‘i.
As Blue Planet Foundation’s principal and visionary philanthropist, Henk Rogers is committed to the mission of stewarding decision-makers through developing non-carbon, clean energy sources. He is personally devoted to helping our planet reduce and eventually eliminate its dependence on fossil fuels. Blue Planet Foundation is a local nonprofit organization committed to clearing the path for clean energy.
Blue Planet’s vision includes three things:
• We inspire leaders to change the rules and accelerate cost-effective, secure, renewable energy.
• We inspire communities to adopt smart, replicable energy solutions.
• We inspire everyone to believe in the power and possibility of a future beyond fossil fuels.
Think Outside the Box
From Computer Games to Saving the Planet
Rogers engages audiences worldwide with his compelling story of multiple entrepreneurial ventures in the computer game industry. But that’s not all. His story includes surviving a cardiac arrest, which fueled his big, hairy, audacious commitment to saving our planet. Whether it’s for-profit games or non-profit planet crusades, Rogers has been wildly successful in reaching his goals. His presentation is deep, yet very current, as he strives to educate and inspire people to believe in the power and possibility of a future beyond fossil fuels.