I am currently working on a multiplayer game. I have recently gotten more aware of the problem that as an indie multiplayer game that offers matchmaking, my game might very quickly fall victim to a situation where nobody is playing, which discourages new players from playing because there are no lobbies, effectively killing the game due to a chicken-and-egg problem.
I have seen a video on fake players in io-games some years ago, where the narrator came up with the theory that many popular io-games use AI to seed their servers to prevent the above situation from happening. My question therefore is: Is it unethical to implement AI that pretends to be human in order to seed a multiplayer lobby?
If so, what is the best strategy to deal with this situation? Even large AAA games often fall victim to the empty-server problem, so it poses a significant risk to my indie game.