Patrick Söderlund, EA’s Worldwide Studios Executive VP, is optimistic that AI in video games will be much improved over the next five years.
“AI in games, in general, is horrible,” Söderlund said in a statement given to EDGE’s October 2017 magazine issue. Söderlund then explained that having AI that can learn and adapt to counteract a gamer’s particular style and “mimic a human player,” is going to be achievable in the near future. This conversation reinforces the announcement of SEED (Search for Extraordinary Experiences Division) at EA Play. This division is responsible for implementing the most innovative technologies within the video game industry.
Söderlund stated that the video game industry will see more change “in the next five years than we have seen in the past 45,” and that outside of the rise of online multiplayer, the industry has not seen much innovation.
The topic of AI in video games has been one of lengthy discussion, especially given the increasing prominence of online multiplayer. For the single-player gamer, AI is paramount to enjoying a video game, especially in the realm of first-person shooters, such as Call of Duty or Star Wars: Battlefront. If Söderlund’s claims are accurate, single-player gamers could see a rise in AI modes in not just RPGs and platformers, but also first- and third-person shooters. However, smarter, more challenging AI could offer competitive individuals a way to practice and improve their skills before competing against other players, especially if future AI is able to mimic human players and add unpredictability to high processing power.
Patrick Söderlund has been the Executive Vice President of Electronic Arts since 2013. As of August 2016, Söderlund is reported to own approximately USD$11 million worth of EA shares.