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Bandai Namco Invests In AI For Better Foes

Bandai Namco, Dark Souls publisher is investing in an AI company. Whose board-game algorithms have defeated several professional human players

Bandai Namco, the games company behind Tekken, Dark Souls and Dragonball. Has invested in an artificial intelligence startup. The team at Heroz have an algorithm for shogi (Japanese chess) that’s bested several professional human players. Bandai Namco is hoping to tap into that know-how to improve its non-playing character behavior in future titles. Although expect to see it in much simpler games long before that eventual Dark Souls successor.


Heroz has dabbled with games outside the likes of chess and backgammon. Earlier in 2016, it worked with the Pokémon Company to make Pokemon Co-master. A figurine-battling board game for smartphones that didn’t do so well. The startup is hoping that Bandai Namco‘s expertise will help ensure a hit.


Heroz‘ expertise in traditional (and cutesy-character based) games could ensure it’s well-placed to develop for Sony‘s incoming products. This card-reading smart pad is designed to bridge the gap between digital and physical cards games. The first title announced for it was Yokai Watch — a Bandai Namco game. It might be too early to join the dots, but eh, that’s not stopping us from doing exactly that.