Solo players in MMOs point out that they enjoy MMOs because the world feels like people are living in it. Much different than the boring worlds in single-player games, all of those other characters, (probably) with people at their controls, add a certain vibrancy that can’t be found in all those NPCs that stand around all day and repeat themselves to anyone nearby.
Imagine this: A game has AI that can play as effectively as human players. As far as you can tell, humans are at the helms of all these characters—they simply don’t talk much. Would your MMO soloing desires be filled by this game?
Could we create worlds that feel lived-in within single-player (or multiplayer non-massive) games that would then capture a sizable part of World of Warcraft’s market?