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What This Valve Job Opening Could Mean For The Future

A new opportunity just opened up for video game-loving psychologists. Valve, the developer behind the hit Half-Life, Portal, and Left 4 Dead series, is seeking a psychologist to assist its Bellevue, Washington, location in experimental design and research for upcoming titles. Although Valve has not yet confirmed its current gaming projects, the new psychologist position does suggest that the company is looking to push their gameplay experiences to a new level.

According to the job posting, Valve is looking for a psychologist in the research and experimental field with "broad skill sets" and "deep expertise." The position calls for these psychologists to help Valve "craft compelling gameplay experiences" and "conduct statistical analyses on Valve's gameplay" as well as financial and company data to find patterns of behavior. Experiments will evaluate the company's various gameplay and design choices. As Game Rant noted, it seems that Valve likely wants to improve its experiences alongside the ever-evolving nature of gaming consoles.

Beyond gameplay, Valve's psychologists will also serve to "provide insights on human behavior" in order to improve its game distribution platform, Steam, and "research compelling new hardware technologies." As Game Informer pointed out, it's unsurprising to see that Valve wants to up its game by evaluating consumers and what they're looking for in a service. With Epic Games' own game distribution platform now thriving, Steam has heavy competition and must continue to improve to stay on top.

Whomever Valve chooses to hire for the psychologist position will need to have quite a few things under their belt. At minimum, the position calls for a graduate degree in psychology, "advanced knowledge of statistics," experience in applying research to consumer product development, and "research experience in cognitive, social, human factors, and related fields in psychology." On top of that, Valve prefers applicants to have a "proficiency in programming languages."

There's no telling exactly what Valve is working on at this time in terms of new games, but there are a few potential projects. For one thing, after the release of Half-Life: Alyx back in March, Valve teased that it didn't think the game would mark the end of the series. In other words, fans may see even more Alyx content in the franchise in the future.

Beyond that, Valve News Network's Tyler McVicker believes after a datamine in December that Valve's next project is code-named "Citadel" and follows a multiplayer format with asymmetric gameplay. McVicker revealed that he thinks the project will pit PC against virtual reality players, which would be a very different direction for a Valve game to take. Could this new direction be why the company is bringing in skilled psychologists?