HAL Laboratory, Inc. is a development studio partnered and closely affiliated with Nintendo. For many of their projects they in the early to mid-1990's the company went under the name HALKEN, and published many of their early titles through HAL America. The name "HAL" was at first thought to be derived from HAL 9000, the AI villain of the 2001 A Space Odyssey film, as stated by Satoru Iwata himself, though he later stated that the name was actually decided upon because "each letter put us one step ahead of IBM". The HAL logo is a dog incubating a group of eggs; according to president Masayoshi Tanimura, the logo represents the thought put into "completely new ideas that eventually hatch into incredibly fun games."
HAL was founded by a group of friends in 1980 that simply wanted to develop games. The group started off creating titles for the MSX and Commodore VIC-20 and later started developing exclusively for Nintendo. Satoru Iwata was made president of the company in 1993 until 2000, when he became CEO of Nintendo. Masayoshi Tanimura was later promoted to president of HAL.
HAL is most well known as being the developer for the Kirby series, created by ex-employee Masahiro Sakurai. While under HAL Sakurai also began the Super Smash Bros. series. HAL has also helped in developing the EarthBound / Mother series.
In August of 2017, HAL announced the opening of a new subsidiary named HAL Egg, which will focus on the development of smartphone titles.
Games published by Nintendo
* - NES version published by Nintendo for Virtual Console release.
** - SNES version published by Nintendo outside of Japan.
*** - Originally released for mobile devices in 2017, published independently. The Nintendo Switch port of the game, released in 2020, was published by Nintendo.
- Official website
- HAL Laboratory on Wikipedia
- HAL Laboratory on Bulbapedia
- HAL Laboratory on Super Mario Wiki
- HAL Laboratory on WiKirby
- HAL Laboratory on SmashWiki
- HAL Laboratory on WikiBound
- GDC 2005: Iwata Keynote Transcript. IGN. Retrieved July 12, 2015.
- Iwata Explains Where The Name HAL Laboratory Came From Nintendo Life. Retrieved July 12, 2015.
- NP Interviews HAL Laboratories about Kirby Air Ride! IGN Boards. Retrieved July 12, 2015.
- Michael Tomczyk: Commodore VIC-20 History & What went Wrong. commodore.ca. Retrieved July 12, 2015.
- HAL Laboratory Begins Making Smartphone Titles, First Title Releases in Fall 2017. NintendoSoup (August 22, 2017). Retrieved August 23, 2017.