TOKYO -- Bandai Namco Entertainment will partner with a board game artificial intelligence startup, the Japanese company said Monday, investing in technology that could aid its video game development.
The Bandai Namco Holdings unit will invest a small, undisclosed amount in Heroz, which employs prominent engineers in the AI field. The startup's algorithm designed to play shogi, the traditional Japanese chess game, has defeated professional players in public matches. Bandai Namco could use the startup's AI to create game characters that behave like people, and potentially to find flaws in game programming.
But Heroz has struggled to attract users to a mobile game it developed in the popular Pokemon franchise, released in April. Bandai Namco will need to find a way to use the startup's AI to draw more players.