"Time." The single word signified the end of the speedrunning marathon Awesome Games Done Quick 2016.
It's an exhilarating moment, the end of the marathon. It's the culmination of not only a week of speedrunning, but the months and sometimes years of work speedrunners and organizers put into this spectacle.
AGDQ 2016 raised just over $1.2 million for the Prevent Cancer Foundation, the third consecutive year this edition of the festival has surpassed $1 million in contributions. It's an impressive feat feat for any charity event, let alone one that started out of a niche video gaming hobby six years ago.
Speedrunners raised $1.2 million and attracted hundreds of thousands of viewers
The money raised this year is less than last year's $1.57 million but, as organizers note, last year's contributions were helped by the sale of a Humble Bundle, which this year's AGDQ did not have. "I feel good about it," Mike Uyama, a GDQ organizer, told Polygon.
"That's basically what we hit last year when you factor out the Humble Bundle, and we don't have the Humble Bundle this year," Uyama said. He added that GDQ organizers will focus on making donation information and links more visible through the website and Twitch stream in coming events.
Awesome Games Done Quick 2016 featured numerous thrilling speedruns, backed by solid play, tricks and great commentary. Some of the must-see runs include a Super Mario Maker hard-level run, the unforgettably awful Animorphs, another blindfolded tour of Mike Tyson's Punch Out!!, and Super Metroid with the bosses beaten in reverse order. For much more, check out our daily recaps over the past week here.
Donation figures are one thing, the viewership totals are what really describe the mainstream appeal of a GDQ marathon.
Next up is Summer Games Done Quick, July 3-9
Viewership was fantastic, with most runs peaking over 100,000 concurrent viewers and even late-night events drawing in 80,000. Community-based runs runs like the TASBot Block last night, and the Super Mario Maker Race, reached 200,000 viewers. The numbers mean this isn't just interest in a specific game, but an interest in the speedrunning community as a whole. With these viewer peaks, it would be like the population of Richmond, Virginia (roughly 200,000) logging on to watch a robot play Brain Age.
Overall, Awesome Games Done Quick 2016 kicked serious ass. For those looking forward to more speedruns, Summer Games Done Quick 2016 is six months away. It will take place July 3-9 and be held in the Minneapolis area.