HAL Laboratory, Inc. (株式会社ハル研究所, Kabushikigaisha Haru Kenkyūjo) is a Japanese video game company that was founded on February 21, 1980. Its name comes from the HAL 9000 computer in the novel and film 2001: A Space Odyssey. The company is most famous for creating the Kirby series, as well as the Super Smash Bros. series. HAL Laboratory is a subsidiary of Nintendo and was acquired by the company when Satoru Iwata, one of their former employees, became president of Nintendo.
HAL Laboratory was originally a group of friends who shared a desire to create video games, and started off making games for the MSX system and the Commodore 64, until Nintendo released their NES in 1983.
In many of its games during the early to mid-'90s, it used the name HALKEN (derived from their literal Japanese name "HAL KENkyūjo"), as well as HAL Laboratory. Some of its early titles were also released as HAL America, a North American subsidiary of the company.
The current president of Nintendo, Satoru Iwata, was a former president of HAL. Other important figures include Masahiro Sakurai, who created the Kirby character and the Super Smash Bros. series and now leads his own company, Sora Ltd.