Charity speedrunning organisation Games Done Quick has announced that founder Mike Uyama will be stepping away after 13 years.
The news was confirmed by Games Done Quick today (January 5), with a statement that says Uyama is “ready for a new adventure” as he looks to leave the company.
Games Done Quick is a charity fundraising event that gathers speedrunners from across the globe to complete games as fast as possible. Uyama founded the first Games Done Quick event in 2010, and while it was initially held in his mother’s basement, the tradition has gone on to raise £34.4million ($41million) for a number of charities including Prevent Cancer Foundation and Doctors Without Borders.
“Since I started Games Done Quick, I’ve seen it grow from a small volunteer effort to the thriving organization that it is today,” shared Uyama. “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.”
“I’m not sure where I’ll go next, but one thing I am sure about is that I will take a break and a vacation before diving headfirst into my next adventure,” added Uyama, whose final event will be Awesome Games Done Quick Online 2023 this month.
Uyama will be succeeded by Matt Merkle, who is currently director of operations for Games Done Quick. In a statement, Merkle shared that he is “incredibly honoured to be entrusted with the future of GDQ by Uyama” and aims to “build upon the foundation” set by the founder.
“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,” said Merkle. “I look forward to working with the speedrunning community and our staff going forward, and I hope to lead GDQ to new fundraising records!”
While Awesome Games Done Quick is set to begin on Sunday (January 8), the event is being held online due to concerns surrounding the state of Florida’s “increased aggression towards LGBTQ+ individuals” and “disregard” for COVID-19 safety.
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