Iwata reveals origins of HAL Laboratory’s name


Before he was the head honcho at Nintendo Co. Ltd, Satoru Iwata was the chief at HAL Laboratory, where he had climbed the ranks from programmer to manager. In the most recent Iwata Asks column (with Ubisoft regarding Wii U launch title ZombiU), the company president reveals the origin of his former company’s name.

And it’s not what you think. HAL Laboratory is not named after the infamous HAL 9000 computer from 2001: A Space Oddity, but rather an attempt to one up IBM. Iwata elaborates, saying “Ubisoft was named after Ubiquity because you wanted to be everywhere in the world and HAL was named as such because each letter put us one step ahead of IBM! (Laughs)”