Game playing was one of the first tasks undertaken in Artificial Intelligence. Game theory has its history from 1950, almost from the days when computers became programmable. The very first game that is been tackled in AI is chess. Initiators in the field of game theory in AI were Konard Zuse (the inventor of the first programmable computer and the first programming language), Claude Shannon (the inventor of information theory), Norbert Wiener (the creator of modern control theory), and Alan Turing.
Since then, there has been a steady progress in the standard of play, to the point that machines have defeated human champions (although not every time) in chess and backgammon, and are competitive in many other games.