Over the past decade, the Games Done Quick Twitch channel has grown from an innocuous speedrunning marathon into one of the most successful streams on the entire platform. Combining mind-blowing gaming skills with a charitable mission statement, Games Done Quick has become synonymous with the speedrunning scene.
Today, we’re giving you a crash course on Games Done Quick and revealing how this speedrunning grew from small beginnings to a multi-million dollar success.
"The origin of Games Done Quick dates back to January of 2010, when the event was held in someone's basement, offering low production quality but plenty of charm."
What is Games Done Quick?
In short, Games Done Quick is a collaborative effort between speedrunners and charity organizations, where the best gamers from around the world meet up to put on a seven-day-long speedrunning marathon. Streamed live on Twitch for the world to watch, Games Done Quick runs nonstop, all in an effort to raise money for major charities around the world.
The origin of Games Done Quick dates back to January of 2010, when the event was held in someone’s basement, offering low production quality but plenty of charm. Despite the grassroots of this first marathon, it managed to raise over $10,000 for the CARE humanitarian charity. In the years following, Games Done Quick has established two major events, Awesome Games Done Quick (which takes place early in the year, usually January) and Summer Games Done Quick (usually held at the start of July). After the gaming public started to take notice, these marathons quickly became highly anticipated and successful, with the most recent marathon, SGDQ 2022, raising over $3 million in donations toward the Doctors Without Borders medical charity.
Both SGDQ and AGDQ have continued to evolve along with the speedrunning scene, resulting in a seven-day-long marathon that has a massive variety of speedrunning content. This includes everything from standard, “beat the game as fast as possible” speedruns, as well as speedrun races, challenging game showcases, and even blindfolded speedruns. With over 150 hours of speedruns to watch during each marathon, there’s no shortage of variety, ranging from retro classics to modern smash hits.
"...we love watching Games Done Quick events not only for the entertaining speedruns, but also because it's a strong reminder that the gaming community can be incredibly generous when put to task."
SGDQ 2022 Pulls In $3 Million
The most recent event, Summer Games Done Quick 2022, was a big deal for the organization, as it was the first on-site event in over two years. Although these events are usually held in-person at hotels, the pandemic forced the events into an online-only format. While this worked temporarily, it was obvious that both the participants and organizers were excited to return to the traditional format. The in-person events always bring a substantial amount of energy and hype, with an excitable live audience, general camaraderie, and an inclusive and judgment-free atmosphere.
SGDQ 2022 was a great return to form for the speedrunning marathon, and although there’s an obvious period of readjustment needed, the event was just as exciting as ever. There were an absurd amount of excellent speedruns to watch, including a complete playthrough of every mission in Halo Infinite in under 1 and a half hours, a speedrun relay race of challenging Super Mario Maker 2 levels, and even some hilariously goofy runs like this one of Happy Humble’s Burger Farm. Even though SGDQ 2022 raised over $3 million, this isn’t even the record for a Games Done Quick event, as AGDQ 2022 exceeded that total by finishing with nearly $3.5 million raised for the Prevent Cancer Foundation.
Generally speaking, we love watching Games Done Quick events not only for the entertaining speedruns, but also because it’s a strong reminder that the gaming community can be incredibly generous when put to task. Since 2014, every Games Done Quick marathon has earned over $1 million for their charity of choice, and shows no sign of slowing down. With such a constant stream of success, you can be sure that Games Done Quick is here to stay.
The next seven-day-long marathon will likely be Awesome Games Done Quick 2023, kicking off sometime in the winter months. Keep an eye on the official Games Done Quick website for more updates as they become available!