Austin ranks sixth-best city in U.S. for gamers

Austin has been ranked the sixth-best US city for gamers, according to a recent WalletHub study.

WalletHub says that globally, gaming is a $159 billion industry that is also experiencing a big boost this year from lockdown during the coronavirus pandemic.

According to a 2018 Pew Research Center survey, 72 percent of male Americans aged 18-29 play video games “often” or “sometimes,” as do 49 percent of female Americans in the same age range.

Pro gaming, or “esports,” is also growing into a viable career choice for those with the best mechanical skills. According to Syracuse University, professional esports were projected to have more viewers in total than all professional sports leagues except the NFL by 2021 – and will likely achieve that this year with countless sporting events being canceled or postponed.

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Austin ranked sixth with a score of 60.02 and is the only Texas city to rank in the top 10. Other Texas cities in the top 50 include San Antonio (24), Houston (30), Plano (40), Garland (44), and Dallas (49). 

Laredo ranked dead last in the list. Other Texas cities in the top 100 include Arlington (62), Fort Worth (81), El Paso (89), and Corpus Christi (91).

At the top of the list was Seattle with a score of 67.33. San Diego, New York City, Orlando, and Irvine Calif. rounded out the top five.


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WalletHub ranked the U.S.'s 100 largest cities across 20 relevant metrics grouped into three key dimensions: Gaming Environment, Internet Quality & Coverage and Gamer & Developer Opportunities:

  • Video-Game Stores per Capita
  • Arcades per Capita
  • Computer Stores per Capita
  • Electronics Stores per Capita
  • Share of Adults Owning a Smartphone
  • Share of Households Owning a Computer
  • “Sci-Fi & Games” MeetUp groups per number of adults aged 18 to 49
  • Number of LARP (live-action-role-playing) Groups per number of adults aged 18 to 49
  • Share of Population Aged 18 to 49
  • WalletHub “States Offering the Most Coronavirus Support” Score
  • Average Internet Speed
  • Share of Households with Broadband Connection
  • Internet Cost
  • Availability of 5G
  • Video-Game Job Openings per Capita
  • Video-Game Jobs Internships per 100,000 Civilian Population in Labor Force
  • Share of Video-Game Industry-Related Employment
  • Number of Video-Game College Programs
  • Number of Video-Game Companies
  • Presence on “Top 50 Best Game Design Schools & Colleges” Ranking

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Each metric was graded on a 100-point scale, with a score of 100 representing the most favorable conditions for gamers. 

Austin ranked first in video-game job openings per capita, sixth in arcades per capita and ninth in share of households owning a computer.

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Below are the ranks via an interactive map from WalletHub: 

Source: WalletHub

This story was reported from Austin, Texas.