Awesome Games Done Quick 2023 will run from January 8 through January 15, but the event is returning to an online-only format. The reason is multi-faceted, and beyond a lack of COVID policies for events in Florida.

While we would love to return in-person, we’ve determined that to provide a safe and welcoming event to all it was best that we move away from our originally planned location in Florida.

Given the state’s continued disregard for COVID-19’s dangers (including anti-mandate vaccination policies) and an increased aggression towards LGBTQ+ individuals, including the law colloquially known as “Don’t Say Gay,” we do not believe it is a safe place for our community at this time.

Immediately after the success of AGDQ 2020, we secured a contract with a venue in Florida to return in 2021. Since the global pandemic was declared, we postponed in-person events until it was safe to return.

We’ve explored multiple options which would allow us to remain in-person by relocating to a safer location. Unfortunately, the cost required to cancel our contract is too great to justify relocating AGDQ while paying the cancellation fee, and we are no longer able to delay our contract. This ultimately led us to move AGDQ 2023 online.

The full schedule is available online, kicking off with Splatoon 3 and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild this Sunday. Newer additions include TMNT: Shredder’s Revenge, Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales, Neon White, Metroid Dread, and Pokémon Legends: Arceus.

In related GDQ news, founder Mike Uyama is departing the beloved charity organization that literally began in his mother’s basement over a decade ago.

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

GDQ Director of Operations Matt Merkle will take over as the new Owner and Managing Director. Uyama’s final event will be Awesome Games Done Quick Online 2023.

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Eric has been writing for over nine years with bylines at Dicebreaker, Pixelkin, Polygon, PC Gamer, Tabletop Gaming magazine, and more covering movies, TV shows, video games, tabletop games, and tech. He reviews and live streams D&D adventures every week on his YouTube channel. He also makes a mean tuna quesadilla.