Summer Games Done Quick finishes with $2.2 million raised for charity

While $2.2 million is a lot of money raised for Doctors Without Borders, the amount raised by Summer Games Done Quick was down from previous years by a heavy number.

Games Done Quick (Photo by Wes 'Fish' Chan)

This year's Summer Games Done Quick saw GDQ return to live speedrunning for the second time after a sudden and unexpected return to the online space in January. There was excitement in the air and some exciting runs on display, which led to a final total of $2,239,204 USD raised for Doctors Without Borders. That's a big number, though it is the lowest amount raised by a mainline GDQ event since Summer Games Done Quick 2018, which finished with $2,122,249.

The final total being relatively low compared to the last five years of GDQ events can be attributed to several factors. Besides a tougher economy taking its toll on the world populace, Summer Games Done Quick went live at an odd time of the year. It usually airs close to the July 4 holiday week, giving it a comfortable six-month gap from Awesome Games Done Quick. However, this year, the event occurred during a much earlier Memorial Day week. Even long-time GDQ followers were taken aback by the change in timing, and it showed in the viewer count and donation amounts over the course of the week.

The unusual atmosphere was truly felt on Saturday night, as GDQ had set a $2 million milestone incentive to air a blindfolded Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild run from Bubzia. While previous GDQ events hit that total with little trouble, this year's SGDQ struggled to meet that incentive to the point that the crew had to stall for about an hour until viewers could pass it. This led to the event ending much later than any GDQ week that came before, wrapping up at roughly 4:30 AM PT on Sunday morning.

Summer Games Done Quick 2023 returns to in-person speedrunning

Source: Games Done Quick (Photo by ZanDamascus)

Despite that elephant in the room, Summer Games Done Quick 2023 was a lot of fun to watch. The aforementioned blindfolded Breath of the Wild run was an incredible feat to witness. The Super Mario Maker 2 relay race was an amazing spectacle wrapped in good-natured competition. There were also some fantastic exhibitions for rhythm games like Clone Hero and StepManiaX, current hits like Pizza Tower, and incentive runs like an unforgettable Titanfall 2 run. Bubzia wasn't the only one working blindfolded this year. After meeting a donation incentive, runner Mitchriz completed the Maliketh boss fight in Elden Ring completely blindfolded.

There's no date or venue for Awesome Games Done Quick 2024, which is likely because the team is trying to avoid returning to Florida, if at all possible. For now, the women of Frame Fatales will make their return to online speedrunning when Flame Fatales 2023 takes place from August 13-20. For more, you can visit Games Done Quick on YouTube and the Games Done Quick website.

Senior Editor

Ozzie has been playing video games since picking up his first NES controller at age 5. He has been into games ever since, only briefly stepping away during his college years. But he was pulled back in after spending years in QA circles for both THQ and Activision, mostly spending time helping to push forward the Guitar Hero series at its peak. Ozzie has become a big fan of platformers, puzzle games, shooters, and RPGs, just to name a few genres, but he’s also a huge sucker for anything with a good, compelling narrative behind it. Because what are video games if you can't enjoy a good story with a fresh Cherry Coke?

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