Awesome Games Done Quick will be an online-only event early next year despite efforts made to see if an in-person event would be possible. The Games Done Quick organizers announced the format of AGDQ 2023 this week while confirming its decision to move away from the planned venue in Florida. In an explanation for why the event would not take place in Florida despite already having a venue secured, the GDQ team cited the state's "disregard for COVID-19's dangers" as well as aggression towards those in the LGBTQ+ community as reasons for exiting Florida.
Because of the state of Florida's stances on COVID-19 mandates (or a lack thereof) as well as laws affecting those in the LGBTQ+ community, the GDQ organizers said they could no longer confidently consider the state a safe place for the speedrunning community. A thread shared on Twitter which kicked off with the tweet confirming the dates of January 8th to January 15th for the event detailed the organization's decision to ditch the Florida venue and return to an online format next year in January.
You can find the GDQ statement in full below:
It’s official! #AGDQ2023 will be taking place online January 8th-15th!— Games Done Quick (@GamesDoneQuick) September 7, 2022
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.
See thread below.
"Given the state's continued disregard for COVID-19's dangers (including anti-mandate 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," GDQ said on Twitter. "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. While the move to online will allow us to save some on expenses, we still have considerable costs to recover. We are looking to recover it wherever possible, including community support via Twitch subs. We thank the community for their support!"
Expect to say more AGDQ announcements in the future as we get closer to the event and game lists and participants are confirmed.