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Lead User Researcher Embedded with Bend Studio (Can be located in San Mateo, CA or Bend, Oregon)
Sony Interactive Entertainment's global PlayStation Studios User Research team is looking for a Lead User Researcher to be embedded with the Bend Studio team, best known as the creators of Days Gone. PlayStation Studios User Research is a central team that serves the research needs of PlayStation’s global first- and second-party game development studios. As research needs grow across PlayStation, we are adopting new support models, including ”embedded” researchers that are fully dedicated to a given studio for a fixed or indefinite period.
Bend Studio wants a UR thought partner for their Design and Production leadership as they work on an early-stage AAA game project. This position could work out of SIE Headquarters in San Mateo, CA; out of Bend Studio in Bend, OR; or remote from anywhere within the Pacific time zone with easy access to an airport. Regardless of location, regular business travel to Bend and to San Mateo will be required. In this position you will partner closely with Bend Studio leadership and central PlayStation research, while reporting to the Sr. Director of PlayStation Studios UR.
The Lead User Experience Researcher is responsible for developing strategic research programs, coordinating research staff, conducting research, and partnering with Studio teams to incorporate research insights into the game development cycle. This embedded Lead User Researchers will do the following things for Bend Studio:
Translate development goals and strategies into research opportunities.
Plan, organize and moderate user research sessions, independently and in partnership with the other researchers on the central PlayStation Studios User Research team.
Collate and analyze results, identify actionable insights and report/discuss synthesized findings with relevant stakeholders.
Prepare and effectively communicate bespoke research deliverables across the various disciplines of the game development team.
Work with the game development team to create and track post-test action plans.
Serve as a thought partner in critical discussions with Studio leadership in ensuring a data-informed approach to end-to-end game development, from selecting and understanding audience through understanding in-game player behaviors post-launch.
Organize and coordinate global research work and collaborations where appropriate with other PlayStation Studios user researchers based in San Mateo, San Diego, Burbank, Santa Monica, London, and Montreal.
This is a very senior-level position requiring significant industry experience delivering research across all phases of development of AAA videogame titles or products of equivalent complexity. The qualified applicant will have:
Advanced degree or equivalent experience in an analytic field that focuses on experimental design with people and/or product development, such as Psychology, Cognitive Science, Behavioral Economics, or Human Factors.
A deep passion for and understanding of game design, and an innate curiosity for understanding player motivations and behaviors.
Proven methodological skills including expert review, usability testing, playtesting, survey design, text & verbal analysis, and observational fieldwork, as well as ability to triangulate across multiple methods to answer multifaceted questions.
Proven ability to work effectively with other insights-generating teams, such as community managers, marketing, and analytics / data science, to synthesize complex streams of data into actionable insights.
Proven ability to be self-driven, organized, and analytical, with a successful track record of balancing the ideals of scientific research methods with the realities of fast-paced product development.
Proven competency with descriptive and inferential statistical techniques and tools such as telemetry, SPSS, R, regression and ANOVA.
Proven ability to creatively and flexibly engage cross-functional product development teams with research findings, for example conducting workshops and creating insights repositories.
Comfortable interacting with, negotiating with, and communicating with stakeholders of different backgrounds and responsibilities (e.g., Art, Analytics, Engineering).
Moderate to advanced fluency with different game business models, P&L frameworks, and how research can inform both business and design decisions.
Strong verbal, numerical, and written communication skills required; presenting information concisely and effectively to people at all levels of the organization is critical.
Forward thinking and actively maintains an interest in the games user research field, keeping up-to-date with developing tools and techniques.
At SIE, we consider several factors when setting each role’s base pay range, including the competitive benchmarking data for the market and geographic location.
Please note that the base pay range may vary in line with our hybrid working policy and individual base pay will be determined based on job-related factors which may include knowledge, skills, experience, and location.
In addition, this role is eligible for SIE’s top-tier benefits package that includes medical, dental, vision, matching 401(k), paid time off, wellness program and coveted employee discounts for Sony products. This role also may be eligible for a bonus package. Click here to learn more.
Equal Opportunity Statement:
Sony is an Equal Opportunity Employer. All persons will receive consideration for employment without regard to gender (including gender identity, gender expression and gender reassignment), race (including colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin), religion or belief, marital or civil partnership status, disability, age, sexual orientation, pregnancy or maternity, trade union membership or membership in any other legally protected category.
We strive to create an inclusive environment, empower employees and embrace diversity. We encourage everyone to respond.
PlayStation is a Fair Chance employer and qualified applicants with arrest and conviction records will be considered for employment.
Location: United States, San Mateo, CA
Country: United States