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Games Done Quick founder Mike Uyama delays exit from company

Uyama will stay at Game Done Quick "indefinitely" as his successor Matt Merkle undergoes physical recovery.

Justin Carter

August 30, 2023

2 Min Read
Logo for speed running event Awesome Games Done Quick Online 2023.

Earlier in the year, Mike Uyama revealed he planned to leave Games Done Quick, the charity speedrunning event he helped found in 2010. However, that leave has now been temporarily put on hold, and he is once again operating as its owner for the time being. 

Speaking to NME, Uyama explained that his intended replacement, Matt Merkle (who was its operational director during Uyama's tenure), was hospitalized from a leg infection. Since Merkle was recovering as Summer Games Done Quick 2023 needed to be planned out, Uyama elected to stay on board to help with the event. 

"I realized if I didn’t stick around, GDQ would have very likely fallen apart," Uyama told NME. "I wanted to do right by everyone. The first thing I did after the [AGDQ] finale was reassure people I would be here for the foreseeable future."

Uyama originally left GDQ due to burnout, but since rejoining, he's acknowledged that he's in a "very different place mentally now than I was pre-AGDQ 2023. I've made my peace with sticking around." 

As for the still-recovering Merkle, he said the "adjusted" plans for the company allow it extra time to better prepare for when Uyama's leave is more permanent. He told NME the company would "take care to ensure that [our] foundation is stable and secure regardless of how things progress with my health."

That sentiment was further echoed by Uyama, who added that he's "motivated to make sure things are in a good place before I consider leaving or participating in a reduced capacity."

The next charity event will be Awesome Games Done Quick, starting on January 14, 2024, and running through January 21. NME's interview with Mike Uyama and Matt Merkle, which also touches on other potential event plans, can be read here.

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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