Elite Dangerous AI spaceships create superweapons 

Occurred: June 2016

Space exploration videogame Elite Dangerous received an update featuring an AI system that caused enemies' spaceships to become extremely powerful and aggressive, resulting in a backlash amongst the game's users. 

Developed by Frontier Development and released in 2015, Eite Dangerous is a massively multiplayer online game in which the players' actions can affect the story outcomes. But the '2.1 Engineers' update strengthened the capabilities of the enemy spaceships to such an extent they were able to craft their own weaponry. 

Frontier said it believed the update shipped with a networking issue that let the AI merge weapon statistics and abilities, thereby causing unusual weapon attacks. 

The company was forced to remove the upgrade and strip the spaceships of their upgraded weapons, and reimburse players of their insurance payouts over the period the update was in place. 

Operator: Frontier
Developer: Frontier
Country: UK; USA; Global
Sector: Media/entertainment/sports/arts
Purpose: Strengthen gameplay
Technology: Machine learning
Issue: Accuracy/reliability
Transparency: Governance

Page info
Type: Incident
Published: March 2023