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GDQ founder steps down after 13 years and more than $41 million raised

Mike Uyama started the speedrunning event in his mother’s basement

The founder of speedrunning institution Games Done Quick is heading off to find new horizons following more than a decade of helping organise epic runs for charity. GDQ announced that Mike Uyama will leave the organisation when Awesome Games Done Quick 2023, which began on January 8th, concludes. Uyama’s replacement as owner and managing director of GDQ is Matt Merkle, the organisation’s current director of operations.

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"Since I started Games Done Quick, I’ve seen it grow from a small volunteer effort to the thriving organization that it is today," Uyama said. "I would not have been able to do it without the help of Matt Merkle and the growth of GDQ would not have been possible without the help of the speedrunning community, which has grown both in size and diversity over the years.” Uyama isn’t sure what he’s moving on to do next, but did mention he’s planning to take a holiday first.

Uyama organised the first AGDQ back in January 2010, which raised more than $10,000 for the relief agency CARE from the comfort of his mother’s basement. Since then, GDQ have diversified with the annual Summer Games Done Quick event and other special marathons held during the rest of the year. More than $41 million (£34 million) has been raised for charities to date by the organisation’s various marathons, mostly for Prevent Cancer and Doctors Without Borders.

This year’s AGDQ is once again being held as a digital-only event. Today sees an Any% run of Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines and a New Game Plus run of Yakuza Kiwami but, as I noted when the schedule was revealed back in November, other PC runs during the week include a PowerWash Simulator no-soap run on January 13th and a bonus Any% run of catpunk adventure Stray lined up for January 12th. You can read the full speedrunning schedule for AGDQ 2023 here.

Awesome Games Done Quick is running all this week in aid of the Prevent Cancer, and ends on Sunday, January 15th. You can tune in on Games Done Quick's Twitch channel, YouTube, and their site.

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CJ Wheeler

Former News Reporter

CJ used to write about steam locomotives but now covers Steam instead. Likes visual novels, most things with dungeons and/or crawling, and any shooter with a suitably chunky shotgun. He’s from Yorkshire, which means he’s legally obliged to enjoy a cup of tea and a nice sit down.