40 Under 40 Class of 2020

Paul Hake

CEO, HitPoint Inc.; Age 37; Education: UMass Amherst (BDIC)

Not only does Hake lead HitPoint, one of the largest independent game studios in New England, with offices in Greenfield and Los Angeles and a business team in Scotland, he’s also CEO of LuckyPoint Inc., a gaming platform company; co-founded the Another Castle workspace in Greenfield; and has developed games for Disney, Ellen DeGeneres, Niantic, EA, Microsoft, Hasbro, and many others.

Paul Hake

What did you want to be when you grew up? Having an entrepreneurial mother who ran a successful business and a computer-programming father who taught me coding at a young age, it was almost inevitiable I would end up where I am. In junior high, I was already contemplating starting my own company. I knew my business was going to be something computer-related, and, in eighth grade, I started a computer-repair business and got my first taste of running a business. Admittedly, I had a lot of support from my parents in this venture, mostly around driving me to the homes of clients. The decision to run a software company dawned on me after being stumped on too many hardware-related repair problems. Around the same time, we started getting PC games at our house (no consoles were allowed in the house), including Myst and Civilization. That’s pretty much when I decided I’d start a game studio after college.

What three words best describe you? Grit, high-energy, hangry.

How do you relieve stress? For me, there is nothing like going for a long run or bike ride to reset my thinking, reduce stress, and feel refreshed. In addition to reducing stress, some of my most creative thinking happens out on the road.

What’s your favorite hangout or activity in Western Mass., and why? There are so many fantastic places to have fun in Western Mass., it’s not possible for me to pick a favorite. However, some of my favorite places to go with my wife, Kim, and our two kids include the People’s Pint, the front porch at Magpie, and hanging out at one of the many swimming holes on the Green River.

What fictional character do you relate to most, and why? 30 Rock’s Liz Lemon. There are many reasons I feel like I relate to Lemon, though moreso in her work life than personal life (for example, I haven’t slept with James Franco). But we’re both running creative entities, working more than we should, loving cheese, and really just trying to have it all.

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