Valve’s multi-player games, as well as Steam (Valve’s successful trading platform), have allowed for the spontaneous emergence of complex virtual, yet quite real, economies. These economies are replete with rich trading patterns, fascinating ‘institutions’ (which have also sprung up organically), socio-economic conventions, and, generally, a host of economic phenomena that partly reflect what we observe in the analogue world and partly constitute new and unexplored behavioural patterns.
The task of a Valve economist is to make good use of the incredible wealth of data concerning these social economies, to pose fresh questions about their workings, and to generate methods for converting new knowledge about these economic vistas into tangible ideas that help improve our customers’ experiences.
- Research, design, develop, and validate economic models to explain user behavior for all of Valve’s products.
- Design experiments to validate experimental hypotheses for in-game economies.
- Provide insight into short- and long-term behavioral patterns of participants in virtual economies.
- Inform decision-making at Valve by providing quantitative and economic rationale for various lines of inquiry.
- Create new avenues of analysis based on existing economic metrics, as well as generating new domains of data to collect and investigate.
- Collaborate with our business development team to improve the performance of existing pricing strategies and incentives for our customers and partners.
- Graduate degree in Economics or related field
- Advanced knowledge of statistics
- Econometrics/data-mining or related field
- Relevant analysis techniques that inform the creation of economic models
- Proficiency in one or more of the following programming languages: C++, SQL, PHP, or equivalent