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Games Done Quick founder Mike Uyama announces departure

Mike Uyama founded Games Done Quick in 2010, and has operated as the company's owner for 13 years.

Justin Carter

January 5, 2023

1 Min Read
Logo for Awesome Games Done Quick.

Charity speed running organization Games Done Quick announced the departure of founder Mike Uyama. Uyama, who also operates as the company's owner, has held the position for 13 years. 

"Since I started Games Done Quick, I’ve seen it grow from a small volunteer effort to the thriving organization that it is today," wrote Uyama. "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."

Uyama began the original Awesome Games Done Quick in 2010, where he raised over $10,000 for the humanitarian agency CARE. Since then, the semiannual event has gone to raise a reported $41 million for cancer and humanitarian charities. In the last several years, the events have repeatedly broken their own charity records

Taking over Uyama's position as owner and managing director of Games Done Quick will be Matt Merkle, the company's current director of operations. 

In his own statement, Merkle wrote that he would "do everything I can to build upon the foundation he has built for the organization since its inception. [...] I look forward to working with the speedrunning community and our staff going forward, and I hope to lead GDQ to new fundraising records!"

Uyama's final event will be the incoming Awesome Games Done Quick 2023, which runs from January 8 to January 15. The event will be done entirely online following the cancellation of its in-person event that was scheduled to be in Florida before the organization backed out of the state due to governor Ron DeSantis' COVID protocols and anti-LGTBTQ laws.

About the Author(s)

Justin Carter

Contributing Editor, GameDeveloper.com

A Kansas City, MO native, Justin Carter has written for numerous sites including IGN, Polygon, and SyFy Wire. In addition to Game Developer, his writing can be found at io9 over on Gizmodo. Don't ask him about how much gum he's had, because the answer will be more than he's willing to admit.

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