HAL is celebrating its 40th anniversary, and the latest issue of Famitsu sat down with HAL President Kawase Shigefumi to talk about the company's long history. The interview also touched on HAL's future, and Mr. Kawase was more than happy to share his vision for where the company will go. Check out his full response below.
I believe being able to create is something that is simultaneously rewarding and difficult. It is an indescribable feeling when we deliver interesting and unique experiences to our customers and make them happy. I would like to continue to lead a company where creators who want to make such experiences can gather and make even more interesting experiences for a long time to come.
At HAL Laboratory, we believe the game industry is at a major turning point. It is impossible to know in which direction the industry will change in the future. Perhaps the future will be one where AI both announce and develop games on behalf of humans. However, creators will always create content. For a long time, HAL Labs has had the idea of having machines do what they are capable of and allowing humans to do things that only we have the ability to do. Therefore, even if such a future comes, I think that HAL Labs will be a company that will make good use of AI and exhibit creative power that surpasses the development potential of AI alone.
...You see, the time and money required to develop video game software is always increasing. I don’t think this will change any time soon, and so, in addition to making big budget games, we have to make a conscious effort to develop interesting experiences. We do this by relying on the wisdom we have acquired over the past 40 years. Such development is not simply accomplished overnight. I want to plant the seeds of these future opportunities and encourage the growth of budding ideas as they blossom into entirely new experiences.
The other day, when I went to an acquaintance's exhibition, I had the opportunity to talk with their daughter. She said that HAL Laboratory "makes my favorite experiences." The games we make are, on a basic level, products, certainly, but I'm always moved when I hear people call them "experiences" and even their "favorite experiences."
Well, I strongly believe HAL Laboratory is a company that says, "I just want to be myself." HAL Laboratory is a company for creators, but we can only continue with the support of our fans. We will continue to create games, ideas and experiences that will remain in your heart, sticking with our philosophy to make "creations that lead to happy customers and happy employees, too." We look forward to your continued support. Thank you.