Games Done Quick founder will step down after next event

Games Done Quick founder Mike Uyama is leaving the speedrunning organisation after 13 years and more than $41 million raised to support life-saving charities

GDQ founder stepping down: Participants at AGDQ 2019 cheer during a live speedrunning event

Games Done Quick founder Mike Uyama has announced that he is leaving the charity speedrunning organisation. Uyama, who launched Games Done Quick from his mother’s basement in 2010, says he plans on taking a vacation before “diving headfirst into my next adventure.” First, however, he plans on attending one final charity event – Awesome Games Done Quick 2023, which kicks off January 8.

“Since I started Games Done Quick, I’ve seen it grow from a small volunteer effort to the thriving organisation that it is today,” Uyama said in a press statement. “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.”

Merkle, who has worked as GDQ’s director of operations since the beginning, is stepping into the role of owner and managing director that Uyama is leaving behind.

“I feel incredibly honoured to be entrusted with the future of GDQ by Uyama, and will do everything I can to build upon the foundation he has built for the organisation since its inception,” he said. “I would not be where I am today without Mike and the team he has built. It’s incredible to see how much we’ve grown, transitioning from a group of friends in a basement to a company with over 50 staff members, raising millions of dollars for charity!”

Last year’s Summer Games Done Quick featured duelling Elden Ring Speedruns and a host of others. It wrapped up after raising $3 million for Doctors Without Borders.

AGDQ 2023, which begins this weekend, will include a 16-minute any% nine-exits run of Stephen Seagal is the Final Option (Prototype) on the SNES, a six-player all-vehicles, no-soap run of PowerWash Simulator on PC, and a 15-minute ‘Old Souls’ run of Dark Souls 2: Scholar of the First Sin. There’s a huge range of RPG games, FPS games, and old games that talented players will be speedrunning, as usual.

All proceeds will benefit the Prevent Cancer Foundation.

Image credit: Games Done Quick