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HAL Labs Tokyo relocates to Nintendo's new building, sees increase in staff

Look who just moved in

HAL Labs Tokyo has found a new home. The well-established developer has joined Nintendo in their new building in Tokyo. They're bringing 195 employees with them, which is actually up from the last count of 169. Remember, HAL is still an independant company, but they obviously have close ties to Nintendo.

The official Japanese Twitter account for BOXBOY hits 10k followers, and HAL celebrates with some fantastic art

BOXBOY is CUT!

HAL may forever be known as the Kirby company, but they're also the creators of Qbby of the BOXBOY! series. BOXBOY! certainly has some fans out there, as proven by the 10k people that have followed the official BOXBOY! Twitter account in Japan. To celebrate that milestone, HAL put together some great art showcasing the BOXBOY! gang in a completely new style!

HAL had three Kirby games in development that were shelved before releasing Kirby's Return to Dream Land

Development HAL

HAL has cranked out countless Kirby games over the years, and I'd dare to say there's not a bad one in the bunch. That said, we haven't seen all the Kirby projects HAL has worked on, as some were shelved for not being up to snuff.

Last week's Famitsu had a big feature with multiple members of HAL, and they opened up about some of the struggles the company faced throughout its history. That's when we learn that the team had three different Kirby games in development that all ended up being shelved. The team decided to hang up these ideas because they weren't at a level of quality the team wanted, or they didn't think the title would hit its sales target.

After these failed attempts, HAL started work on what would be Kirby's Return to Dream Land on Wii. The team was quite worried they'd have yet another failed project on their hands, but the team slowly gained confidence that things would come together this time. Obviously they were right, as Kirby's Return to Dream Land released to the public in 2011.

HAL's president discusses the company's future, will continue to make content that makes customers happy

Here's to 40 more!

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.

Thanks to Sephazon for the translation!

Sakurai, Miyamoto, Itoi and others share messages for HAL Laboratory's 40th anniversary


In the latest issue of Famitsu, various developers celebrated the 40th anniversary of HAL Laboratory. They discuss the achievements made, how Satoru Iwata influenced things, the iconic Inutamago logo and much more. The translations were done by Robert Sephazon, which you should follow on Twitter for the latest news from Japan.

Click here to read the rest of the story...

This week's issue of Famitsu includes a feature on HAL's 40th anniversary

Happy 40th, HAL!

Believe it or not, HAL is celebrating its 40th anniversary right now. In honor of the big milestone, Famitsu put together a special feature on the company and its work, which includes comments from staff members. We're waiting on a translation of the feature, but we can at least check out some preview pages from the magazine. Check out those preview pics here.

HAL's April Fools' Day joke is BoxBoy: Final Box, a fake Final Fight tribute

I wish this was real...

HAL continues their tradition of obviously fake April Fools' Day jokes with a BOXBOY! spin-off that would never happen, but I wish it would.

As you can see in the art above, HAL came up with the crazy idea of mashing together the BOXBOY universe with that of Final Fight to created BOXBOY: Final Box!. You know an April Fools' Day joke is good when it's clearly fake, yet leaves you wishing it were real!

HAL Laboratory & MonolithSoft looking to recruit Japanese 2021 graduates

Wanna work the job of your dreams?

Two big development studios are seeking out graduates for employment in a variety of positions. HAL Laboratory and MonolithSoft have both opened up applications for those located in Japan. Check out the positions each company is looking to fill below.

HAL Laboratory

- Planning Director
- Sound Creator
- Development Engineer
- Generalist

MonolithSoft

- Programmer (Tokyo)
- Planner (Tokyo)
- Designer (Tokyo)
- Designer (Kyoto)

Fan recreates HAL's infamous logo to celebrate the company's 40th anniversary

That's TOO cute!

HAL has been around and kicking for 40 years now, and they no doubt have one of the most unique and memorable logos in the game industry. It's also undeniably cute! In honor of the company hitting 40 years, one Japanese fan has taken to Twitter to showcase his tribute to the company's milestone, as well as their logo.

I'd say that tribute came out absolutely perfect! All that's missing is the nest underneath, but I think we can overlook that!

'Wado's Toy Shop' announced from Ensky, opening at the Yamashiroya toy store in Tokyo

There can never be enough Kirby collaborations

It was previously announced that Ensky would be opening something Kirby related at the Yamashiroya toy store in Ueno, Tokyo. Now, we have officially been given details on the upcoming collaboration. 'Wado's Toy Shop' will be open from November 1st - November 24th, with a Kirby picture book exhibition and many available Kirby products at the floor space. Check out the catalog for the event below!

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