Top 10 cities for gamers: How the heck did Atlanta beat out Seattle for No. 1?

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Games, games and more games.

gamenite5Top-10 lists are fun, whether it’s the world’s best entrepreneurial hubs or tips for surviving at a startup.

But many are slightly questionable, like the list we just found that ranks the top 10 cities for gamers.

The folks over at Motovo, a San Francisco-based real estate content website, put in some work and analyzed things like number of arcades per city, demographics, quality of internet speed and other factors.

Here’s the list they came up with:

  1. Atlanta, GA
  2. Seattle, WA
  3. Denver, CO
  4. Portland, OR
  5. San Francisco, CA
  6. Long Beach, CA
  7. Sacramento, CA
  8. Mesa, AZ
  9. Kansas City, MO
  10. San Jose, CA

valve“After the scores were tallied, Atlanta came out on top,” writes David Cross. “Just stick with your hipsters, Seattle. Atlanta gamers, feel free to start tea-bagging.”

Can we put the tea-bagging on hold just for a bit? Motovo left out a crucial area, at least in our opinion, for analyzing the top cities for gamers — game company headquarters.

Yes, Georgia is certainly growing as a gaming hub. The industry there has grown from $73 million in 2008 to $1.3 billion in 2013, and there are 4,000 students there studying for game-related degrees.

But it’s tough to top Seattle, where gaming innovation and employment is simply on fire right now. There are nearly 100 game companies that have set up shop here, including Valve, Nintendo, Microsoft, 343 Industries, Big Fish, PopCap, Bungie, WildTangent, Z2, U4iA, and several more of which are ranked on the GeekWire 200, our monthly startup index tracking the Seattle region’s technology companies.

digipenThen there’s Redmond’s DigiPen University, which just received good marks from Princeton Review’s 2013 list for the top game design undergraduates programs, coming in at No. 3 overall. And let’s not forget the University of Washington’s top-ranked computer science and engineering programs.

For more proof, last Thursday was a great glimpse into the region’s activity. Three Seattle companies launched games: Big Fish debuted Fetch!, PopCap came out with Solitaire Blitz for iOS and Z2 launched Nitro — all in the same freakin’ day.

Sure, we’re a bit biased and more familiar with what’s going on here. But it’s difficult to find a better gaming center in the country than right here in the Emerald City.

What do y’all think? Does Atlanta deserve the top spot? Perhaps the Bay Area? Comment below.

Previously on GeekWire: GeekWire 200 Update: Bungie, U4iA, other gaming companies make a move

  • http://www.facebook.com/vqnguyen2 Viet Q. Nguyen

    If “number of arcades” was a factor, it’s hard to take the measurement seriously. What year is this, 1985?

  • http://twitter.com/be_seeing_you Be Seeing You

    More “American Idles” in Hotlanta than in Seattle, I guess…

  • Tony

    What factors in Sacramento helped it get on the list? I’d like to know where all these amenities for gamers are because I haven’t noticed any.

  • http://twitter.com/fijiaaron Aaron Evans

    Humidity and rain are about equal for keeping people indoors, but chiggers keep them off the grass.

  • http://www.facebook.com/gaspar.ferreiro Gaspar Ferreiro

    I have to agree that the criteria is for GAMERS and not for gaming industry, etc. If you are a gamer, like me, you are not going into a city because Nintendo Corporation has a headquarter there. You want to go to a city because there are alot of gamers, gaming community, gaming events, etc.
    yet, for that very same reason I think the criteria is flawed. Ask any gamer, andthey are all eager to go to vegas for ces, or Pax or something. Atlanta only has dragoncon, which is ok, but not on the same league.
    Second, gaming launches… and that honor has to go to CA or NY. There is no nintendo world store here, and whne a new top tier game gets released, all the major launches are in NY & CA.
    Now, one aspect that was not mentioned on the piece, and that certainly has Atlanta as a good spot, is gaming community. We got places like “battle and brew”, where people go to play drink and have fun… and if you take the definition of gamer as is (which does not necesarily mean exclusively vide gamers, then you have alot of people in atlanta playing games like warhammer, rpgs, collectible card games, etc… (check avens nest,giga-bites, etc…)

  • Creative 925

    This seems inaccurate – more of a PR ploy than anything.