RALEIGH – Raleigh falls out of the top 10 and Durham is no longer in the top 50 as “Best Cities for Gamers” in a new study from financial news site WalletHub. And a big reason is COVID-19. Why?

Because of a WalletHub study that ranked North Carolina dead last for how state and local leaders have responded to the ongoing pandemic.

“The coronavirus support score was an important factor that contributed to the cities’ lower ranking this year,” a spokesperson for WalletHub tells WRAL TechWire.

The COVID-19 study results, which were published April 28, received a heavily weighted score among the multiple criteria WalletHub used in compiling toe 2020 Gamers list.

Raleigh fell to 14th place from 10th in 2019 with a score six points under the previous year’s 59.41 (out of 100 possible). The capital city did rank third overall for internet quality and eighth for internet cost.

Durham, meanwhile, slipped to 54th from 48th, even though its score actually improved by less than a point to 39.64. the Bull City didn’t crack any category better than 25th (internet cost).

Seattle earned the best score at 67.33. Raleigh rival Austin, Texas, placed sixth.

The study is designed to highlight the game industry’s impact across the countries’ biggest cities. Categories include price of internet service, number of game industry employees, how many gaming stores, education programs, and many more.

However, numerous changes in study criteria also affected the outcome.

“[T]here were also other changes in the methodology this year, and this is why we don’t recommend a direct comparison between the two studies,” the WalletHub spokesperson explained.

Here’s how Raleigh scored in key categories:

The Gamer Lifestyle in Raleigh (1=Best; 50=Avg.)

  • 31st – Avg. Internet Speed
  • 25th – Video-Game Job Openings per Capita
  • 8th – Internet Cost
  • 37th – Video-Game Stores per Capita
  • 36th – Arcades per Capita
  • 11th – Share of Households Owning a Computer

The Gamer Lifestyle in Durham (1=Best; 50=Avg)

  • 28th – Internet Speed
  • 57th – Video-Game Job Openings per Capita
  • 25th – Internet Cost
  • 69th – Video-Game Stores per Capita
  • 76th – Arcades per capita
  • 56th – Share of Households Owning a Computer

For full study details, read the report online.


Study: North Carolina ranks dead last in COVID-19 pandemic support